POSTED: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 3:43pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 5:14pm
Tyler, TX — October 9th was the last day to register to vote for the November election in Smith County.
Smith County Elections Administrator, Karen Nelson, said there's always a rush of people on the last day, but this year was more than normal.
Nelson said, "We had a huge amount of people come in the office we actually kept track of how many people came in Tuesday and there was over a hundred and fifty people." She said the state requires thirty days to confirm residency in Texas for people to be eligible to vote in their designated county.
"I've seen a lot of people that have come in and told us verbally yah know this is my first time to ever register," said Nelson.
In addition to a large number of people rushing to meet the deadline, we also saw an increase in the younger generations, so we headed over to UT Tyler's campus and spoke with the student government president to find out what is it about this year's election that is bringing in so many younger voters."
Michael Suarez said, "Because yah know I'm growing up and this is the nation ill be living in when I'm an adult and when I start my own family and if I don't get involved now then I don't get a say in where it goes in the future." He also said that he believes the two candidates are so different, so many people his age want to make sure the candidate with their views wins the election.
Nelson also said this year they have already received 3,500 mail-in ballot requests and are expecting to surpass the amount of mail-in ballots that they received in 2008. She said, "I mean we've had over 3,500 people request a mail ballot and in '08 we mailed out about 5,500 so were already creeping up to that number." She said, normally they don't see their biggest surge of requests until early voting starts, so they're just waiting to see how many more they will receive when that starts.
Early voting runs from October 22nd until November 2nd. Nelson says they will be open everyday, even on the weekend. For the designated times you can go cast your vote you can find all Smith County election information on their website at: http://www.smithcounty.com/Government/Departments/Elections/ElectionInfo.aspx