'This is the most important vote I have ever made'

Sara Vanden Berge
Voters flocked to the polls Monday when early voting got underway across Texas.

Joyce Whitis was one of several hundred residents who took part in early voting Monday. 

When she arrived at the Erath County Courthouse about 8:30 a.m. she was greeted with a long line of eager voters.

“It was very busy, the line was out the door,” Whitis said. “I think this is the most important vote I have ever made.”

And she is not alone. 

As early voting across Texas got underway, counties across the state reported a high voter turnout. 

Secretary of State Carlos Cascos reported early this month that Texas set a record for statewide registered voters at more than 15 million, meaning that nearly 78 percent of the state's estimated voting age population of 19.3 million had registered.

Erath County Clerk Gwinda Jones said last week that she was expecting a large turnout, but even Monday’s pace caught her a little by surprise. 

“I figured we would be slammed, and we have been,” Jones said. 

By 1 p.m. Monday, Dublin had 107 voters and the Erath County Courthouse had 564. 

Topping the ballot is the race for president between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. 

Dublin voters will weigh in on a $10.8 million school bond election, and Huckabay, Lingleville and Santo ISDs will vote on trustees.

Early voting ends Nov. 4. 

Election day is Nov. 8. 

Where to vote: 

Erath County Courthouse:

Oct. 24-28: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 30: 1-4 p.m.

Oct. 31-Nov. 4: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Dublin County Annex: 

Oct. 24-28: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Oct. 31-Nov. 4: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.