Voters head to cast their ballots on the last day of early voting Friday at the Denton Civic Center. 

Voter turnout in Denton County was nearly 40% higher this year than in 2016.

In total, 116,316 more people cast a ballot this time around when compared to the 2016 races.

Only 96,000 additional voters were registered between the two elections, meaning the turnout rate was also higher. In fact, turnout was higher this time around before Election Day votes were even tallied.

Just shy of 65% of the county’s 468,162 registered voters exercised their right to cast a ballot by the time the polls closed in 2016 compared to 74.17% of the 565,105 registered voters who did the same by the times polls closed Tuesday.

Approximately 68.16% of the county’s registered voters had cast a ballot by the time early voting ended Friday.

Several precincts across the county had even surpassed the 80% participation threshold by the time all early votes were tallied and publicly released Tuesday evening.

Voting Precinct 1039, a small area just north of Shady Shores, earned bragging rights for the highest turnout rate this cycle with 97.06% of registered voters casting a ballot. Only four of the area’s 136 registered voters sat this election out, according to the unofficial results published by the Denton County Elections Administration Tuesday night.

Far more Denton County voting precincts fell to Joe Biden this year than went to Hillary Clinton in 2016 when comparing early voting results for the former with the final count of the latter.

Blue precincts in both years were clustered around Denton, Frisco and Lewisville.

Additionally, the gap between Donald Trump and Biden was significantly smaller than the gap between Trump and Clinton when unofficial results released Tuesday night.

Elections workers never report final, official numbers the night of Elections Day. Such numbers are expected to be made public in the coming days.

The gap between Trump and Biden was only 33,806 voters wide — roughly 8.1% of all the ballots cast for that race in the county.

Over 6,700 Denton County voters cast ballots for presidential candidates other than Trump or Biden. The vast majority of those votes went to Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen.

Democratic hopeful for U.S. Senate MJ Hegar received a smaller portion of eligible voters in Denton County compared to Biden, indicating party affiliation was not the only issue on voters’ minds.

She conceded the race to incumbent Republican John Cornyn early in the night.

Hegar took in 41.37% of the 411,902 votes cast with all voting precincts reporting Tuesday night.

For comparison, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, in his 2018 big to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, took 45.52% of the race’s votes across Denton County.

Much like in previous elections, blue precincts were clustered near Denton’s center, parts of Frisco and Little Elm in eastern Denton County, and the county’s southeast corner across much of Lewisville and Carrollton.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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