Smith County on track for lowest voter turnout in years for Nov. 7 election

Published on Friday, 3 November 2017 19:39 - Written by CORY MCCOY,

Early voting in Smith County has ended with one of the lowest turnouts in recent history.

At the end of the early voting period Friday just 1,517 residents had cast their ballot, out of the 124,460 registered to vote in Smith County.

Tuesday’s election is tracking to end up being the lowest turnout in recent years, Smith County Election Administrator Karen Nelson said.

At stake is a $40 million road bond package, as well as alcohol sales in the city of Arp and city charter amendments in Whitehouse. Statewide constitutional amendments also are on the ballot.

Early voting totals typically make up between 50 and 70 percent of the overall total, based on county, school district and municipal election results since 2011.

If Tuesday’s Election Day totals push ballots to 3,000, this year’s early voting turnout would represent about 51 percent of the overall turnout.

However, 3,000 ballots cast is just 2.4 percent of the county’s registered voters.

No municipal or school board election has broken 12 percent since 2011. That year only 3,141 votes were cast in countywide elections, a turnout of just 3.5 percent. A similar turnout would require 4,356 ballots by the time polls close on Tuesday.

In May, Tyler ISD saw a strong turnout of 10,148 ballots cast, with 5,905, or 58 percent, cast in early voting.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph will provide live updates on election night.