According to the Lubbock County Elections Office, 3,193 voters headed to the polls on Monday on the first day citizens could vote on an ordinance that would effectively outlaw abortion within city limits.
The topic has caused tensions among city council and the community at-large since last Fall.
Voters who made the effort to vote on Monday said they had their calendars marked for the occasion.
“We know how we wanted to vote, so we wanted to get out and get done,” Joanna Harkey said.
“We have something that is very important to our hearts on the ballot today, and of course that is to make Lubbock a sanctuary city for the unborn,” Susie Stell said.
This special election is perhaps the most controversial proposition election since 2009.
Of those voters we spoke to, many on both ends of the issue felt passionate about this unique election.
“That was probably the primary reason I came out to vote, I have a very strong opinion on that, so I wanted to come vote against it,” Harkey explained.
“[We] felt like it was very important for the community to be a community that protects the lives of those that are most innocent and the most fragile,” Paul Stell said.
“It’s not that I’m against babies at all, but I just feel like it’s an unconstitutional issue and that this is not something Lubbock needs to do,” Debbie Hansard said.
Voting begins as the new Lubbock Planned Parenthood location is offering abortion services, according to the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas’ website.
The return of the non-profit, in part, sparked the city-wide vote now taking place.
In addition to the ordinance, voters in the Lubbock-Cooper district also have a bond election.
“My husband works for Cooper school district, so we knew what was coming up, that they’re really in need of additional facilities,” Harkey explained.
Monday’s turnout is the second highest on the first day of early voting during an odd-numbered year, next to 2009.
That day 12 years ago, more than 5,800 voters went to the polls to vote on propositions that would make the county wet.
That was a county-wide vote, and this ordinance is only city-wide.
Early voting will continue until next Tuesday, the 27th, and Election Day will be Saturday, May 1st.
To find a list of early voting locations and times, click here.