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Early Voters Set Turnout Record in State & Dallas

By Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter

Dallas, TX – Early voters have been setting turnout records across the state and here in Dallas and Fort Worth. On Friday, the last day to vote early before Election Day, KERA's Bill Zeeble caught up with some Dallas county voters at Fretz Park.

On a beautiful day to be outside, with waits lasting 15 to 20 minutes, voters of all stripes, including Republican Darby Anderson, were happy to be at Fretz Park.

Anderson: This is so much faster. This is wonderful. You can get in and out. This moves right along. I love early voting.

Unlike Darby, Omar Chaudhry is voting the straight Democratic ticket, which is a change for him.

Omar: I was actually Republican in 2000 and voted straight ticket then and worked in George Bush's campaign at time and have kind of changed my perception and thinking regarding politics in general.

Chaudhry was surprised by the lines but happy to wait, hoping to avoid the rush on Election Day. He was in and out in 15 minutes.

Judy Nordseth is a long-time Republican and business woman. Finances mean a lot to her. While pollsters say the sluggish economy has helped Barack Obama this election, Nordseth says she and her husband are loyal to the GOP.

Nordseth: We're both small business owners and feel Republicans have our best interests at heart. We're die-hard capitalists and entrepreneurs, so we need to keep the economy moving and think Republicans can do that the best.

In the relatively fast moving line near Nordseth is Democrat Scott Hendrix. He's voted here the last dozen years and never seen it this crowded, even though the line is keeping up a good pace. Hendrix says Obama is an easy vote for him.

Scott Hendrix: But it's a throw away vote in Texas, because it'll go for McCain. It's like a voice in the wilderness, so to speak, for Texas.

Dallas county election worker Ona Harris has been doing this kind of job more than 30 years and has never seen a turnout like this before.

Harris: This is amazing. This is way more people than we're ever going to see or ever see in our lifetimes and maybe ever see again. This is amazing, exciting, look at all these people voting today! We're all motivated to get out here and do something about our country.

Election Day is Tuesday.

Bill Zeeble KERA news.