More than 20 thousand votes were cast during the ten days of early voting in Webb County. The numbers show new trends. And they also have the attention of the head of the county’s Democratic Party.
“We're looking at a strong increase in the north,” said Silverio Martinez, Chairman of the Webb County Democratic Party.
Martinez said the higher numbers in the north may indicate more participation by younger voters. His Republican counterpart disagrees.
“Overall nationally, it's always found those that are more educated, those who are more affluent,” said Randy Blair Chairman of the Webb County Republican Party, in reference to the voting increase among North Laredo voters.
During the early voting period, Martinez said he also received complaints about voting delays due to the Texas voter ID law that took effect last year.
“People were getting turned away to fill out provisional ballots out of the Zacatecas south area,” said Martinez, adding that people had issues with expired forms of ID. To the best of his knowledge, he said those issues were resolved by the Webb County Elections Administration, but may have required an trip for voters.
TAMIU political science professor James Norris disagrees with the extra steps a voter ID law requires.
“Our elections office isn't that far away for most people who live in Laredo. But for some people in the county that's a very very long distance,” said Norris.