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Gregg, Upshur and Rusk counties beat state numbers in voter turnout

By Glenn Evans
May 31, 2012 at 10:02 a.m.

Amid shifting deadlines and confusing court rulings, elections administrators in Gregg, Upshur and Rusk counties beat the state in overall voter turnout during Tuesday's twice-delayed primaries.

"We usually are fairly in line, I can't remember when we ever beat the state," Gregg County Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy said Thursday.

With 13,073 of Gregg County's 65,674 registered voters casting ballots Tuesday or during early voting, the county notched a 15.54 percent turnout.

The numbers reflect 11,535 Republicans and 1,538 Democrats, Nealy's office reported.

The statewide turnout fluctuated, depending on the race, between 10 and 11 percent of Texas' 13 million registered voters.

The Gregg County turnout was similar to past cycles.

"Eleven thousand (Republicans) is pretty consistent," Nealy said.

In the 2010 primaries, 11,641 Republicans and 2,085 Democrats voted.

The presidential election of 2008, however, broke trends with then-candidate Barrack Obama getting much credit for drawing 11,286 Democrats to that primary while 11,370 Republicans voted in their presidential primary.

Legislators drew new political lines in 2002, when 10,043 Republicans and 4,157 Democrats voted in the primary. That election brought the first GOP majority to the state legislator and lawmakers in 2003 replaced the lines the previous, Democratic-led, legislature had drawn.

In Rusk County, 6,932 voted in one or the other primary on Tuesday. That's 22.95 percent of 30,201 registered voters.

Almost nine out of 10 ballots, 6,256, were cast in the Republican primary.

In Upshur County, 23.4 percent of voters cast early or election day ballots on Tuesday. That's 5,626 Republicans and 511 Democrats out of 26,200 registered voters.

Two years ago, 5,577 voted in Upshur primaries - 4,608 of them Republicans.

And in 2002, there were 7,164 ballots cast in the Upshur primaries.



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