Even with the heavy rains that swept the area Tuesday, a voter registration drive still had quite a turnout, bringing 590 new registered voters to Bell County, officials said.

“I feel good about how it all turned out. A lot of people came…I thought it went really well,” said Irene Andrews, the local representative for the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature and event coordinator.

The event — which the organizers called Voter-Palooza — took place at nine Starbucks locations throughout Bell County in Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton and Temple, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Andrews said with the voter registration and post offices closing at 5 p.m., and people just getting out of work at that time, having an after-hours registration hub is extremely important. “I think it’s really critical to have something set up after 5,” she said.

To that end, the Bell County Voter Registration Office really helped the effort, Andrews said.

“The Bell County (Voter Registration) office had a sign after they closed directing people to Starbucks,” she said.

According to Melinda Luedecke, elections administrator for Bell County, there are 194,730 registered voters in Bell County as of Wednesday afternoon.

Officials were still processing all of the applications on Wednesday.

“We’ve seen higher turnout for this gubernatorial election year than we ever have in the past,” Luedecke said.

Andrews said much of the credit of Voter-Palooza’s success goes to the volunteers.

“It takes all the volunteers to make something like this work,” she said, adding she plans to do the drive again for other elections.

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