The last day for in-person early voting for Tuesday’s Republican and Democratic primary elections was Friday and as of late Thursday, 73,677 voters had participated in early voting. Republican voters outpaced Democrats nearly two-to-one, casting more than 48,700 ballots compared to nearly 25,000.
In addition, 6,076 mail-in ballots had been received by the Tarrant County Elections Office, with 3,850 from Democratic voters and 2,226 from Republican voters. Combined early voting turnout was at 6.03 percent, continuing a trend of low participation in primaries.
The highest single-day turnout so far occurred on Feb. 22, when 11,947 votes were cast in the two primaries ahead of the winter storm that brought freezing temperatures and icy roads. Only 753 in-person votes were cast on Thursday with about half the county’s voting centers closed due to the weather.
Polls will be open on Election Day (Tuesday March 1) from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
One reason for the higher early-voting turnout among Republicans is the greater number of competitive races on the Republican ballot, including high-profile contests for governor and attorney general as well as local state and county offices.
One of the most contentious races in Tarrant County is the Republican contest to succeed retiring Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, where the frontrunners are former Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and former Tarrant County Republican Chairman Tim O’Hare.
O’Hare is running on a far-right conservative platform with endorsements from former President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Price is running on her broad experience as both Fort Worth’s longest-serving mayor and as a former Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector. She has the support of many Tarrant County officials, including Whitley and her successor as Fort Worth mayor, Mattie Parker.