Record national early voting turnout make up 2018 midterm election


Bren Flechtner

This morning, a group of voters support Julie Johnson for Texas State Representative for the 2018 general election outside of Coppell Town Center. Representatives give out cards and information about candidates that will be elected for local, state, and congressional level.

Christine Zacuai, Executive News Editor

The doors of Coppell City Hall usher in and out eager voters ready to cast their ballots as local representatives and supporters patiently gather under their canopies under the cloudy skies for this year’s midterm election.


The polls saw a slow but steady flow of voters throughout the day, but there is confidence in a record number of voter turnout, specifically in early voting.


“The turnout has been very encouraging, you see voters in record numbers coming out from both sides,” Texas Right to Life director Elizabeth Graham said. “If you look across the numbers on the board for the early voting tallies, statistically the numbers are higher, but not necessarily at this location today.”


According to the Coppell Town Center Election Department, Coppell Town Center had seen 420 total voters as of 5:30 p.m. today.


In Washington, the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives, while the Republicans maintained control of the Senate. 


In one of the most anticipated races, Republican Ted Cruz was reelected to the U.S. Senate by defeating surging Democrat Beto O’Rourke. Republican Governor Greg Abbott defeated Democratic nominee Lupe Valdez to earn a second term in Austin.


Texas Lt. Gov. was won by Republican incumbent Dan Patrick, as well as the attorney general position retained by Republican incumbent Ken Paxton. 


At the local level, Democratic candidate Julie Johnson was elected state representative in District 115 by defeating Republican incumbent Matt Rinaldi, with Democrat Nathan Johnson defeating Republican incumbent Don Huffines for District 16 in the state senate.


“There’s a lot of Facebook support for Coppell to come out and vote today,” Coppell voter Callie Leahy-Wicks said. “There were Coppell citizens who were even suggesting that if you didn’t have a ride to vote, they’d give a ride. So, I feel like I was very supported in my choice today.”


Local representatives, such as Rinaldi, conversed with voters in front of their tents outside of City Hall. Rinaldi has held his position in House District 115 for four years.


“Coppell is one of the strongest areas of support that we have and we’re very pleased to have seen high turnout here,” Rinaldi said.


Several other local voting locations include Wilson, Mockingbird, Town Center, Lakeside, Cottonwood and Riverchase elementary schools.


Key issues ranging from women’s health and immigration were at the forefront of this election season.


“Protecting the unborn is a major issue in this election,” Texas Right to Life director Elizabeth Graham said. “Reaching out to pregnant women and empowering them to continue their pregnancies to term is a number one issue.”


New faces made their way to City Hall, advocating their support for candidates, including political action committee Young Americans for Liberty, in support of Rinaldi, Huffines, State Representative of House District 113 candidate Jonathan Boos and State Representative House District 107 candidate Deanna Metzger.


Supporters of write-in candidate, Judge Teresa Hawthorne of the 203rd Judicial District Court, who had been removed from the ballot due to a clerical error, made their presence known at the polls. Hawthorne is one of the two only write-in candidates in the election.


“She’s a fabulous judge and it’s very disappointing to lose her,” Hawthorne supporter Lisa Fox said. “This will be an uphill battle. Realistically, the likelihood of her winning is not good, but we’re still not going to give up on her. We want her name out there, her views, and ballot out there.”


Though the stairs of City Hall presents many opponents, the common message of the election remains the same.


“For those that feel like that they don’t have an opinion to share not making a decision is still making a decision,” Coppell voter Sean Wicks said. “If you choose not to vote, that’s still allowing other people to take your vote away from you.”


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