Surge in Early Voting Continues

Early voting numbers continue to be strong and Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman expects a new benchmark to be set when all is said and done. Pat Hernandez has more.
Kaufman met the media at Ripley House on the city's east side. It is one of 36 early voting locations in Harris County. image of Ripley HouseDespite Ripley House being ranked as one of the least utilized early voting locations, Kaufman said the overall surge has not let up.

"At noon today, we surpassed the one hundred thousand mark for early voters in person here in the county. We're still continuing to track five thousand voters an hour. That has been continual. We may level off a little this afternoon with the weather, you know, coming in. But after today, I think we're looking at some more lovely October days where the voters can get out and vote early. We're really pleased with that because our goal was to try to get half of our votes-voted in the early voting process prior to election day to help it make it smoother on election day for the voter and all the precincts."

Kaufman attributes the surge to the parties and candidates getting the word out to cast the early ballot.

"You have to give the internet a lot of credit because it's utilized in some many ways. So, people just get more information, more often, and quicker than we ever have. We're in the information age and that helps us, you know, help the voter know that you have options and, the reason you want to vote early is that you can find your ballot at any one of the 36 locations, so why not take get advantage of it and get 'er done."

Not only can early voters cast ballots at any of the 36-locations, their driver's license can make it quicker.

"At early voting, if you offer your Texas drivers license or ID card, we have swiping devices in the locations where they can match up your voter certificate number and process you faster. So, that's working quite well."

Kaufman says the numbers could mean less stress for her workers on election day.

"In the last week, we're open twelve hours a day, not seven and a half. So, they're going to have a longer period of time each day in which to cast their vote. So, just that alone should give us probably fifty percent more turnout in the second week than in the first week."

Pat Hernandez, KUHF...Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...