Officials urging people to vote on Election Day after low early voter turn out

Officials urging people to vote on Election Day after low early voter turn out in Potter and Randall counties. (ABC 7 Amarillo).

Based off of the numbers given by election officials, Potter and Randall counties combined have a little over 140,000 registered voters. But why is the actual early-voter turn out so low? That's the question ABC 7 asked residents today.

"A lot of people just feel like they're not really going to make a difference, especially [when] they don't feel like they're being very well represented by their senators," Texas resident, Skylar Younger said.

"I didn't really see many signs or advertisement for early voting," Texas resident Blanca Mendez-Harper said.

Shannon Lakey, Randall County's Election Administrator says a big factor is that this isn't a presidential election.

"Voters typically turn out in higher numbers to vote for people," Lakey said. "We haven't had numbers this low since 2011."

Campaigning also might play a role.

"There's very little campaigning going on locally, for or against measures," Lakey said.

And Lakey says often times, people just don't know what's going on.

"I've had several voters come in that say, 'What are we even voting on?'," Lakey said.

"In these off-year elections, we have constitutional amendments from the state of Texas, and then typically some other propositions might be thrown on it," Potter County Elections Office Administrator, Melynn Huntley said.

But both the Potter and Randall County elections offices are hoping new voting equipment will bring out a bigger crowd during the regular election.

"The big difference is reliability, also in the way that the voter checks in," Huntley said. "There's just a lot of features that make you feel very independent and very secret and safe when you're casting your ballot."

Early voting may not have gone how officials hoped, but there's still time.

"You're never going to know until you actually get out there and participate, and that's very important," Mendez-Harper said.

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