By Elsa Maxey
Fort Bend Elections Administrator John Oldham tell us that in the 2010 Primary, “we had an overall turnout of 16%,” and “in the last Presidential in 2008, turnout was 39%.”
There are 322,080 registered voters in Fort Bend County who could vote in the partisan May 29 Primary Election. At this point, “we are guessing at a 30% turnout with the majority asking for Republican ballots,” said Oldham. Given that voter registration is up 52,000 in the past four years,” according to him, “a smaller percentage turnout could mean more voters casting ballots.”
But due to redistricting and the clustering of precincts for this election, “between 30-40% of our voters may be casting ballots at an election day site with which they are unfamiliar,” said Oldham. He advises voters to consider the early voting option to avoid confusion and lines on Election Day. Early voting means one can vote at any voting site in Fort Bend County. Last day of voting for the Primary is May 25.
Too late to cast an early voting ballot for the May 12th election this Saturday, the quietest one Oldham said he’s experienced in Fort Bend. The last day to vote early was this Tuesday. Saturday’s joint election is for Arcola, Fulshear, Meadows Place, Stafford, Sugar Land, Fort Bend ISD, Fort Bend ISD, FWSD 1, Kingsbridge MUD, MUD 2, MUD 23, MUD 81, MUD 108, MUD 111, MUD 146, Palmer Plantation MUD 2, Pecan Grove MUD, WCID 2. The Early Voting Summary Oldham furnished the Star shows 4,031 ballots were cast as of 7 p.m. on Monday by personal appearance at early voting sites. A total of 833 ballots for the May 12 election were mailed out, and Oldham said on Monday, only 401 had been returned.
“I am afraid that we will have a hard time hitting five percent turnout in the areas outside of Sugar Land, Meadows Place and Arcola,” said Oldham. “They may be in the eight to ten percent range,” is what he guesstimates.
The two elections this month have caused a bit of confusion. Oldham said that some people erroneously thought this Saturday’s election included the sheriff’s race. It’s the next one. The numbers in that hotly contested race may not turn out to be low.