The countdown has begun.

In less than 48 hours, voters across the country will head to the polls to participate in the highly anticipated general election to choose the next president of the United States.

But with several hotly-contested local races and a proposition to legalize the sale of beer and wine for off premise consumption on the ballot, many Erath County voters have already shown their interest in the election by casting a record-setting number of early votes.

On Friday, the last day of early voting, County Clerk Gwinda Jones said 555 voters had cast ballots by 2 p.m. sending the total number of early voters skyrocketing to more than 8,000.

She expects to double that number on Tuesday.

Election officials will begin setting up at the various polling places on Monday. This is the first time area voters will get to choose where to vote.

County Judge Tab Thompson said he is excited about the new voting center pilot program, which allows voters to cast ballots on Election Day at any one of 11 polling places — no matter what precinct they live in.

“Our goal is to make it easier for Erath County residents to vote,” Thompson said.

Voters should also remember to bring either a driver’s license of voter registration card to the polls.

Election officials said voters should expect to see lines Tuesday at the various voting locations.

“We just ask that everyone be patient and we will get to them as soon as possible,” Jones said. “The lines do move pretty fast.”

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Erath County voting locations:

• Erath County Courthouse

• Embarq Telephone Office

• Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store

• TexasBank

• United Cooperative Services

• Dublin County Annex

• Lingleville School Building

• Morgan Mill Community Center

• Selden Community Center

• Bluff Dale Fire Department

• Huckabay School Building.