By Gaige Davila
Cameron County has surpassed its 2016 early votes with, with just one day left of early voting before the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
As of Thursday, 79,596 Cameron County residents have voted early, with two more days of early voting left as of press time. As of Wednesday, 1,455 people voted at Laguna Vista City Hall; 1,547 people have voted at the Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center; and 1,172 people have voted at South Padre Island City Hall.
In 2016, 61,339 Cameron County residents voted early in the general election, with 2,428 of those votes from Port Isabel and another 594 coming from South Padre Island.
Cameron County Elections Administrator Remi Garza said the early voter turnout was from the Elections Department office’s work in voter registration for the past five years. Wait times at most voting locations are still low, he said, with the Early Vote Super Centers, one of which is in Port Isabel, helping facilitate curbside voting.
“Today, we are seeing the fruits of that labor,” Garza told the PRESS in an email.
Garza said the Elections Department office is preparing for Election Day’s turnout, too, saying the office has hired more people, bought more supplies and ordered more ballots.
“We expect this election to have the highest participation in the county’s history,” Garza said. “We hope it is a sign of things to come. That we will finally see our community raise its voice and turn the heads of Austin and Washington so that we are heard.”
The Cameron County Commissioners Court extended the last two days of early voting—Oct. 29 and Oct. 30—to 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cameron County’s Election Department is providing security at polling locations across the county, too, via the Brownsville Police Department and other agencies.
Early voting ends on Oct. 30. On Voting Day, Laguna Vista residents must vote at Laguna Vista City Hall at 122 Fernandez St; Port Isabel residents must vote at the Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center at 309 E. Railroad; and South Padre Island residents must vote at South Padre Island City Hall at 4601 Padre Blvd.