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Ahead of Super Tuesday, Fewer Than 10 Percent Have Cast Ballots in Dallas County

Dallas County turnout in primaries is low, just as it is across the state. The county differs from the state in how many Democratic ballots are being cast.
Jeffrey McWhorter

The polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. for the final day of primary election voting. Still, very few are taking the opportunity to cast their ballots in the Democratic or Republican primaries.

At the end of early voting Friday, 104,978 of Dallas County’s 1,425,409 registered voters had cast ballots. That’s roughly 7.36 percent. On that final day, 24,574 people cast ballots—14,219 in the Democratic primary and 10,355 in the Republican primary. Throughout the entire 10-day period, 60,458 people cast ballots in the Democratic primary and 44,520 in the Republican.

We can compare that to the last presidential election year. In 2020, 23.6 percent of registered voters in Dallas cast early ballots. On the last day of primary voting, 25,773 voted in the Democratic primary and 7,949 in the Republican. Election Day was also lopsided—primary voters cast 144,126 Democratic ballots and 44,399 Republican. Out of 1,343,067 registered voters, that’s 14 percent who voted in a primary election.

Statewide, turnout is a different story than the predictably blue Dallas County. After early voting ended, the Secretary of State’s office said Democratic turnout was at 3.33 percent, while Republican turnout was 6.9 percent. About 10 percent of registered voters cast ballots, down from 12.6 percent in 2020.

It’s worth noting, though, that in 2020, we were at the height of the pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott extended early voting by a week and allowed mega centers (including one at the American Airlines Center) to open so that voting booths could be spread further apart.

A recent Texas Tribune analysis found that in the 2022 midterm election primaries, 14.2 million registered voters didn’t cast ballots. Another 4.7 million were eligible to vote but weren’t registered. Together, they eclipsed Republican and Democratic primary voters, who accounted for 2 million and 1.1 million votes, respectively. 

When it came to the 2022 general election— 4.4 million voters cast ballots for Republican candidates, 3.6 million for Democratic candidates, and another 112,000 for third-party candidates. Another 9.6 million were registered to vote but did not, and 4.2 million were eligible to vote but had not registered. 

On Tuesday, 450 election centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Dallas County. You can find them here. Voters can vote in any party primary they choose, but they may only vote in one each election. If a race goes to a May 28 runoff, you must vote with the same party you voted with during the primary.

Read up on contested races here.


Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson

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Bethany Erickson is the senior digital editor for D Magazine. She's written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at the same time. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.