Early Voting Sets Record Pace

Early voting began today in Texas and runs through October 31st. Local and state officials have predicted a heavy turnout. Rod Rice reports that beating long lines motivated a lot of people to cast their ballots at the first opportunity.
Early this afternoon there was a 30-minute wait to vote at the Multi Service Center on West Grey. About three dozen people were in line outside the building. John Gilcrist said he showed up on the first day because it was a better use of his time.

"Have a chance to get in and get out and still have a chance to have my vote counted."

His co-worker Lamarcus McGory agreed that it's better to wait half an hour now than longer later.

"We decided we were going to come out and get it done early so we wouldn't have wait in massive lines that we think are going to be on Election Day. And, we definitely encourage people to come out and do it early if they can, because it is going to be crazy, we think, on Election Day."

At midday there was no line at the Ripley House on Navigation, but an election official said the stream of voters had been steady and seemed to be ahead of past elections.

Former postal worker Jerry Jones voted on the first day of early voting because he can.

"I'm retired right now and it gives me the opportunity to do this now where I couldn't do that before when I was working for the government."

In Harris County the District Clerks office said that the pace of voting early this afternoon had already topped the number of votes cast on the entire first day of early voting in 2004 presidential election.

There were thirty-eight thousand early votes cast for the first day of early voting, an eighty-three percent increase from last election.
Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...