Approximately 22,000 Brazos County voters have cast or returned ballots in the 2020 election through the first week of early voting.
Through five days of in-person early voting, 18,768 county residents have cast ballots, Elections Administrator Trudy Hancock said Saturday evening. In 2016, the last presidential election year, 22,034 people cast ballots in Brazos County during the first week of early voting; that time span included an extra day compared to the first week in 2020, as early voting started this year on a Tuesday.
“We have mailed out 6,685 ballots by mail and received 3,174 back,” Hancock said. She said 779 military and overseas ballots have been mailed out, and 223 have so far been returned.
Hancock said Saturday’s turnout was the lowest of the five days so far, though still robust at 3,282 voters — down slightly from the first-day total of 3,480 voters. Friday’s turnout was the largest, she said, with 4,190 county residents voting.
There are 122,679 people registered to vote in Brazos County.
In the 2018 election, 64,877 of 114,033 registered voters cast ballots in Brazos County. Of those, 40,104 people voted early, 21,401 voted on Election Day and 3,371 cast absentee ballots.
In 2016, 68,448 of 106,821 registered voters participated in the election, for a 64% voter turnout. Of those, 42,914 people voted early, 20,586 voted on Election Day and 4,948 people cast absentee ballots.
There is an extra week of early voting in Texas in 2020 compared to past election years.
Galilee Baptist Church in Bryan was the site with the longest wait times Tuesday, the first day of early voting. There were only four voting machines Tuesday, but two have since been added, Hancock said, helping with lines. On Tuesday, 315 people voted at Galilee, with voters in lines more than two hours long; 454 people voted there on Friday and 354 on Saturday.
In total, 1,921 people voted at Galilee between Tuesday and Saturday, a figure that approached the church’s entire early vote total in 2016 of 2,086.
The most-used voter site in the county, according to Hancock, was the College Station Utilities and Training Facility, with 5,554 voters casting ballots there between Tuesday and Saturday. The Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M campus, which reported the shortest wait times on Tuesday and Wednesday, hosted 905 voters on Tuesday and 931 on Wednesday — and 4,421 total through Saturday evening.
Hancock said 3,542 Brazos County residents have so far voted at the Brazos County Administration Building, and 3,330 people have voted at Arena Hall in Bryan.
Voting in the county continues Monday at 8 a.m. and will run through 5 p.m. every day through Friday. Saturday’s hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Oct. 25, polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then early voting will resume Oct. 26 through Oct. 30 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election Day is Nov. 3. Several COVID-19-related safety precautions are in place at all polling locations; mail-in ballots can be dropped off at the elections office in Downtown Bryan.
For election information and sample ballots, visit brazosvotes.org.
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