The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Early voting numbers on TCC campuses drop by 40 percent from 2008

By Joshua Knopp/special assignments editor

With national voter turnout dropping from 2008 to 2012, early voting sites on TCC lost a larger percentage of voters than most.

Early voting at TCC went from 9,261 in 2008 to 5,634 in 2012, down 40 percent. Tarrant County Elections doesn’t break down candidates by early voting sites.

At individual levels, the sites brought in 1,303 voters on NE Campus, down from 2,334; 1,194 voters on NW, down from 1,893; 991 voters on South, down from 1,590; and 2,146 voters on SE, down from 3,444, according to Tarrant County Elections Center data.

Most campuses had a percentage loss of 37-38 percent, though NE was down 45 percent. Early voting in Tarrant County was down by 14 percent overall, and The Dallas Morning News reported early voting across the state was down 2.5 percent.

Karen Raulerson, the Tarrant County Elections office’s contact for coordinating NE Campus’ early voting, said voting being down wasn’t because of anything TCC did.

“I wouldn’t have any idea why it’s down,” she said, adding that the campus set it up the same as it did every year. “If they don’t want to come down and early vote, I can’t tell you why.”

Mike Cinatl has been SE Campus election coordinator since the campus opened in 1996. He listed three main reasons his campus’ early voting numbers were higher than others.

“I think the first reason is the location,” he said. “As soon as you come in through the main doors of the campus, it’s right there. I think the second reason is New York Avenue [which borders SE] is a main artery for the Arlington-Mansfield area.”

Cinatl said the third reason for SE’s success was spreading the word. He sends an email to all the faculty, and the faculty tell students.

Ayesha Hawkins, South Campus’ election coordinator, said that was something she failed to do, contributing to South’s lower voting numbers this year.

“I think the email about early voting on campus went out a little late,” she said.

Though the email was ready the Friday before early voting, it didn’t go out until that Wednesday because it had to be approved first, she said.

Hawkins said she hopes that in the future, she can reach out not only earlier but also further into the surrounding community.

“I would definitely like to let the community know the community college is there for all types of community needs,” she said.

 

 

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