The number of Harris County voters who chose not to vote for a registered candidate in this year’s presidential election nearly doubled since November 2012.

Harris County voting records show 26,622 voters either skipped the presidential race or wrote in a candidate’s name for president.

While the total represents only about 2 percent of the 1.3 million votes cast in the county, experts say they shouldn’t be ignored.

Instead, they say skipping a race, or writing in a candidate can represent a protest vote and show political parties that voters aren’t happy with the candidates on the ballot.