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After record week, Tarrant County elections office wants 8 additional polling sites opened for final days of early voting

Tarrant County Commissioners have to approve the proposal which will be discussed next Tuesday.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Tarrant County Commissioners will discuss adding eight additional polling sites during the last two days of early voting next week after the county saw record turnout for the polls this week.

On Friday, 49,839 people participated in early voting in the county.

It was the highest day for turnout in the county so far, which already saw some impressive numbers during the first week of early voting.

On Tuesday when voting began, the county tallied 42,353 votes. On Wednesday, it passed that number with 45,311 votes.

On Thursday, that number was nearly matched with 45,288 votes.

The totals have already outpaced the first four days of early voting from 2016 by at least 10,000 votes.

As far as absentee voting goes, Tarrant County Elections Administrator Heider Garcia told WFAA that more ballots have already been returned to the county so far compared to the final tally counted in 2016's general election.

"In 2016 we had roughly 37,000 ballots returned in all. So far we've seen an estimated 42,000 returned," Garcia said. "Clearly this is because of the pandemic but these are massive numbers."

Historically, Garcia noted that turnout softens after the first few days of early voting and gets higher in the final week.

In 2016, Garcia said roughly 56,000 people voted in on the last day of early voting.

With numbers already getting close to that, Garcia is requesting that an additional eight polling sites be added in the final two days of early voting which would be October 29 and October 30.

The county already has a total of 50 polling sites.

The cost of opening the sites would cost the county an estimated $30,000.

"We're already seeing between 40,000 to 50,000 people vote a day. We still have a little more than two weeks left to go," Garcia said.

Commissioners will discuss the additional sites at Tuesday's meeting.