Somervell County voters are hitting the polls early this year.

“We have been pretty busy, but it seems to be going smoothly - knock on wood,” said Cathy Thomas, elections coordinator. “As of 2:30 p.m. this afternoon (Tuesday), the total [number of] walk in voters was 327.”

Voter turnout is traditionally higher during presidential elections. An Associated Press story out of Austin said more than 340,000 in-person and mail ballots were cast in the state’s 15 largest counties when the polls closed on Monday. Only 190,000 ballots were cast on the first day of early voting in 2004.

Somervell County had 5,626 registered voters in 2004, with 3,854 voting during the early voting period.

The county recorded slightly lower numbers during the 2006 general election. Out of the 5,624 registered voters, 2,568 voted early.

Thomas said Somervell has 5,890 registered voters this time around.

“The first day of early voting (Monday) we had 191 voters vote in person. We have had approximately 130 requests for a ballot by mail,” Thomas said. “Some of the requests for absentee ballots have come from Japan, Tanzania, Korea, England Australia and Scotland.”

Thomas reminds voters requesting a ballot by mail that requests must be at the county clerk’s office by 5 p.m., Oct. 28, not just postmarked.