Hidalgo County election officials see low voter turnout ahead of March primaries

Hidalgo County election officials see low voter turnout ahead of March primaries
3 months 20 hours 30 minutes ago Monday, February 26 2024 Feb 26, 2024 February 26, 2024 12:21 PM February 26, 2024 in News - Local

Hidalgo County Early Voting for the March primaries is off to a slow start.

Nearly a week into Early Voting only 19,000 people have cast their ballot. During the 2020 primaries over 25,000 voters had already hit the polls.

When breaking it down by political parties, Democrats are noticing a downward trend in voter turnout this year.

Hidalgo County Democratic Party Chair Richard Gonzales said it's because there are a lot of democratic incumbents running unopposed.

"This year, we don't have very many contested races," Gonzales said. "That in itself draws lower turnout and if you look back to previous years there were hotly contested races this year it's just Precinct 3."

Data shows that in 2020 over 6,000 Democratic voters came out on the first day of Early Voting in the March primaries. This year over 4,000 showed up. 

Gonzales says they're not worried about losing voters to the Republican Party.

Republican GOP Secretary Hilda Garza Deshazo says Hidalgo County's Democratic history is why more democrats are showing up at the polls than Republicans.

"But we are also very realistic. Blue lines run very deep in Hidalgo County very deep," Deshazo said. "It's difficult to change that, but I think we are making strides because now we see more voter turnout."

Over 1,000 Republican voters went to the polls on the first day of Early Voting this year. That's a jump from 2020.

The economy is also a reason why this year there's been less campaign advertising for both Senator and House races.

The message is simple from both parties, get out and vote.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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