Amarillo, TX - Now that the election is over, county officials say the voter turnout Wednesday is keeping them hopeful for future elections.
Potter and Randall County administrators tell us they were a bit overwhelmed with the turnout, but their optimism levels are now through the roof.
Cleaning up was in full effect Wednesday in Randall and Potter counties. In Randall county, around 7700 people hit the polls, and in Potter, about 5000....numbers that are almost unheard of for a constitutional amendment in Amarillo.
"Typically we'll vote about 8 percent of people in the odd numbered years for a November election, but this time we voted over 18 percent, so that was a ten percent increase over the typical election time," says Potter County Elections Administrator Melynn Huntley.
"I was very very impressed with the numbers," says Randall County Elections Administrator Shannon Lackey. "We didn't quite get 50 percent of our voters to come out on election say. More turned out for early voting, but we still had great numbers."
But why the sudden traffic at the polls?
Both Huntley and Lackey say...for those who have kept up with Amarillo issues the past year, it's a no-brainier.
"Well absolutely it was some of the measures on the ballot that they care deeply about," says Huntley. "We had people interested in Proposition 1, we had some interested in the city's issue, so really all together, it just brought people to the polls."
"Any time there's local issues on a ballot, it always brings people out and also I think with next year being a presidential year, they're already starting their debates and there's a lot of campaigning, so it's kinda got voting on people's minds," says Lackey.
Both say the numbers from this election could predict a lot for next year's primaries and elections to come.
"Now that we're already laying the groundwork for the March 1st primary and when we look at the numbers we had for this election and we'll be anticipating how many voters may be coming out in March, I think this is a good sign. I think it sees that voter interest is up in the Amarillo area, so we'll be preparing for it," says Huntley.