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Politics & Government

A Look at Dallas County Voter Turnout on Super Tuesday

Nearly a quarter of all registered voters cast their ballots on Super Tuesday.
By Shawn Shinneman |
Voters lined up to vote on Super Tuesday at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas. (Photo by Cecilia Lenzen)

Voting in Dallas County yesterday was anything but flawless. Machines failed. Lines piled up two hours or longer at closing time. Results came in way late. Hell, Zac even witnessed a whole polling place disperse.

The troubles were the result, according to County Judge Clay Jenkins, of inexperienced election workers, new equipment, and high turnout. Let’s focus on that last one.

In Dallas County, 317,011 ballots have been cast, about 23.6 percent of registered voters. These totals come in just short of 2016, when 335,825 people voted, about 27.5 percent of registered voters.

It’s possible, of course, that people who were not able to vote due to machine issues early in the day came back after work, causing delays well into the evening. But the real story here is in the party splits. With the exception of 2008, turnout among Texas Democrats was better than it had been in nearly three decades:

And in Dallas County, we clearly see that shift, as well. Turnout in the Democratic primary was closer to 2008 totals here than it was 2016. A look at the last four years:

The number of Dallas County voters during the presidential primaries since 2008.

Michael Li, who wrote that tweet above, is the Dallas-raised Senior Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program. He points out that Democratic turnout topped 15 percent in Dallas County for the first time since 1992, when you set aside 2008.

“In some ways, the Republican Party is becoming a party in name only in Dallas County,” says Li. “The action in Dallas County is on the Democratic side and not the Republican side anymore.”

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