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Election day turnout in El Paso explained

EL PASO, Texas -- Tuesday, March 1st is Texas primary election day.

This year's primary election will determine which candidates from the Democrat and Republican parties will move forward to November's election.

However, since there is no presidential race at stake, primary races like this year's usually have lower voter turnout than a general election.

Dr. Richard Pineda, Director of the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication studies at UTEP, says that this is because of various reasons.

He says the first reasoning is voters aren't as enthused about who is on the ballot. Dr. Pineda says, "It is always hard to get people out if there is not something major at the top of the ballot."

Additionally, he blames the lower turnout on voters not knowing what is on the ballot. He said that in non-presidential elections, there are plenty of races that people are not necessarily following and are not well-versed in.

"So that's the first thing- that voter education is low, so there is not a focus on why you would want to go vote. The second thing is that it is not as exciting in a presidential race. The amount of advertising alone is overwhelming, and people are going to get that in every stream. That scale is so much smaller when we are talking about heavily local races, the amount of money that is put into campaigns makes it much harder to send out that message."

According to Dr. Pineda, this year in El Paso County, there has been more turnout from the Republican party.

As for the new election law in Texas, Dr. Pineda says that the elections administrator in El Paso has ensured voters have the correct information to vote.

As for demographics of voters, Dr. Pineda says that voters who show up in off-year elections tend to be more consistent and vote in every election. He says that they tend to be older and are civically engaged.

Voting locations in El Paso County are listed here.

Voting polls are open from 7:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. You can vote at any voting center on Election Day.

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Rosemary Montañez

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