El Paso, Texas —
Early voting for the March 6 Texas primary election ends on Friday, and the numbers indicate a lot of Texans are heading to the polls to cast ballots, especially Democrats.
The Dallas Morning News reports that early voting figures for the state's large urban counties, which includes El Paso, show the number of people voting in the Democratic primary is up nearly 70 percent compared to the last mid-term primary in 2014. Voting was also up in the Republican primary by about 20 percent.
Mid-term election years usually bring out fewer voters than in presidential election years, like 2016.
Specifically in El Paso County, early voting numbers tell a similar story. Former El Paso Times editor Bob Moore reports that early voting in the Democratic primary is up more than 70 percent locally, while it's more than 20 percent higher in the Republican primary compared to four years ago.
There's probably increased interest in this year’s Democratic primary in El Paso because local Congressman Beto O'Rourke is on the ballot in the U.S. Senate race, and there's a competitive Democratic race to replace him in the U.S. House.
Because Texas is an open primary state, voters don't have to register with one party or the other to cast ballots in the Democratic and Republican primaries. They can vote in whichever one they find more interesting or competitive.