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Early voting turnout in Nueces County higher than previous primary midterm elections

18,530 voters cast their ballot early in Nueces County in 2022, compared to 12,242 in 2018.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Early voting has ended in Texas and Election Day is March 1.

Although voter turnout has been low, more people have cast their ballot early for the 2022 primary election than in the previous three midterm primary elections in Nueces County.

18,530 voters cast their ballot early in Nueces County in 2022, compared to 12,242 in 2018. and 11,450 in 2014. This equates to 8.85% of registered voters in Nueces County.

Historically, voter participation in midterm primary elections is dismal in Texas, with less than a quarter of registered voters casting ballots most years. In the 2020 primary elections, about 21% of eligible voters in Texas cast ballots, according to the U.S. Election Project. Among the 22 states that have open primaries, meaning voters do not have to declare party affiliation and can choose any party’s ballot, just four states trailed behind Texas in primary voter turnout — Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Arkansas. 

Republicans have cast more ballots than democrats in this early voting cycle, but the party that draws more voters in Texas’ open primaries is not a reliable indicator for who will win the general election in November.

“Turnout in the state for primary elections remains perpetually low. But this is true regardless of election year,” said Joshua Blank, the research director of the Texas Politics Project. “It’s not representative or indicative of what’s going to happen in the coming election cycle.”

A law passed in 2019 requires all 254 counties to report who has voted early to the state, allowing the secretary of state to report more complete early voting counts.

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