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Early Voting Increases

Amarillo Recreation Complex (ARC) believed to be the reason.
AMARILLO -- Early voter turnout was strong for the constitutional amendment election in Texas.  Especially in the panhandle.

        The proposed bond for the Amarillo Recreation Complex may be pushing the higher totals.

        Two years ago, voter turnout in this type of election was dismal.  Only 6% of the entire state's registered voters cast ballots in 2011.
       
        This year in Potter county, 2,004 residents voted early.

         In Randall, it's much higher with 5,169 early ballots.

        Experts say constitutional amendments alone rarely get the electorate excited about voting and something else on the ballot will usually driver higher turnout.

        In our area, several cities have alcohol sales on their ballots, so higher turnout is expected there.

        In Amarillo, it's believed the $31.5 million bond for the proposed Amarillo Recreation Complex is pushing the higher turnout.

        West Texas A&M University Political Science professor Dr. David Rausch says it's easier to gauge candidate elections rather than bond issues, because it's tough to tell how the electorate feels about the proposed bond.

        Rausch says look where the votes are being cast and you'll have a better idea of how the "ARC" proposal will go.

        He says lower income residents usually don't vote but, would probably be against the ARC.

        He says if higher voter totals come from the lower income areas, it'll fail.  But, if it's coming from the higher income neighborhoods, it'll probably pass.

        The polls are open Tuesday from 7am - 7pm.



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