WAXAHACHIE

Numbers released by the Ellis County Elections Office show a significant increase in registered voters in the county.

Elections Administrator Jana Onyon emphasized the increase of registered voters is “significant,” with over 4,500 people recorded since Aug. 1. Since November of 2016, exactly 19,757 new voters have been added to the roster in Ellis County.

Officially, there are now 108,826 registered voters in Ellis County.

Onyon reconciled the jumps in registration are from, “Lots of new homes being built in the county and I think the voters are more engaged than normal.”

Monday marked the first day of early voting and 7,297 Ellis County residents either cast a ballot at the polls or had a mail-in ballot counted — just under seven percent of registered voters.

There was often a line out of the door at the Ellis County Elections Office and a steady stream of voters exiting after casting their ballots.

Linley Pratt, 29, is a four-year Waxahachie resident who said she has voted for years.

“I feel like every vote counts, and we just need to get out there and vote," Pratt advocated. "That’s what we are here for. When you turn 18, I feel like everyone needs to get out there and do their duty.”

Pratt admitted that she is “one-sided” when it comes to voting. “That’s how I kind of grew up. I feel like their beliefs are what’s good for Texas,” Pratt said.

Pratt disclosed that she voted for Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate and all-Republican on the rest of the ballot.

Edward Wooten, a 76-year-old Waxahachie resident, said he has voted any opportunity made available to him. The opportunity to have a voice is essential to him because it gives him an opportunity to “stand up for what you believe in. You have to do what is right.”

Wooten served 27 years in the U.S. Air Force.

Dave McSpadden, 75, has lived in Ellis County for 35 years and said he has voted in every election.

“It’s one of our rights as a citizen to be able to express our views," McSpadden stressed. "Unless you are a politician, it’s the only way we can contribute to outcomes. Otherwise, if you go home and complain about it, you have no excuse.”

Senate, congressional, county judge and the district clerk were the primary positions McSpadden focused on, with a decision to vote based on party or candidate depending on the state, national or local level.

McSpadden disclosed he voted for Todd Little for county judge. He said Little had the credentials and the heart for Ellis County. He also admitted that he is not Ted Cruz fan, but voted for him as well.

For Sevy Deleon, 30, this is his sixth year in Ellis County. He and his soon-to-be-wife, Angela Ingram, got their marriage license and decided to vote early since they were in the area. The senator race was vital for him.

While in line he researched the local candidates. For Deleon, he voted based on the candidates.

When it comes to the senate race, Deleon is for Beto.

“I like his message. I like where he stands," Deleon shared. "I like his approach to border security, having had worked in that area I feel that he knows what he is talking about. He is from El Paso.

“I actually didn’t think we would see a line so that’s great and it’s the first day, so that’s awesome," Deleon added. "The more people turn out, the better. When you see a very low voter turnout, it’s hard to say what the community actually thinks. Where I stand is where I stand, but I would love to see where the community stands.”

The senate race brought Ingram, 29, to the polls on Monday. Her ideals mirror her soon-to-be-husband.

“I like that he [Beto] is going out to the communities throughout Texas because you don’t see that from everybody and he is taking a personal interest in what everybody has to say, so I really admire that," Ingram said.

Ingram admitted this is her first time to vote in a midterm election. It was vital for her to vote, “so my voice can be heard.”

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450