Election Day always comes with its share of revelations, but some things aren’t apparent until days or weeks after.
On Wednesday, Denton County residents didn’t have all the answers yet. It could be days or weeks until official results are tallied by the Denton County Elections Administration — which can be said of every election year.
Despite that, some of the dust had already begun to settle by Wednesday afternoon.
Steady, but not busy
More than 68% of registered voters exercised their right at the polls before in-person Election Day voting kicked off Tuesday — a higher turnout rate for early voting than in the entirety of the 2016 election cycle.
All those early ballots, in part enabled by an extended early voting window, freed up polling places Tuesday.
The long lines typical of Election Day didn’t materialize in Denton County this week the way they did in past elections.
“I didn’t hear reports of lines anywhere,” Frank Phillips, head of the county elections administration, said Wednesday.
Beyond that, he didn’t hear reports of any major voting issues in the county.
“I thought it was steady, but certainly not what I would call busy for a presidential [election],” he said.
There are still votes left to count
Phillips said there were roughly 14 regular ballots left to be counted by Wednesday afternoon.
He said it was still possible that more mail-in ballots could come in throughout the day. Those would be counted if they were postmarked by the mail-in deadline.
Additionally, he said there are up to 411 overseas ballots that could be counted through Monday.
He said local post office workers had been diligent in making sure all mail-in ballots made their way to the elections administration office. He said workers came by several times on Election Day alone to drop off more ballots.
He said elections workers still have to sort through the provisional ballots that were cast. We won’t know until they pick through those how many are valid and will go toward the official election results.
Sheriff’s race more interesting than it looked
Incumbent Sheriff Tracee Murphree took home the overwhelming majority of the 295,873 votes cast in the race.
He had 94.34% of the vote, according to unofficial results available Wednesday. That’s not surprising considering his was the only name actually listed on the ballot.
His opponent, Freyja Odinsdottir, managed to get more that 16,000 votes as a write-in candidate.
That wouldn’t be significant under more normal circumstances, but it is a large number for any write-in candidate.
Phillips said the elections administration doesn’t actively track the number of write-in votes candidates have gotten over the years, but Odinsdottir’s tally was impressive.
“I’ve never seen that many write-ins,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “That was very high.”