What to Expect at the Polls
by: Laurie Johnson, November 2, 2009 6:11:00 am
For city of Houston voters, this election is important as it will decide the future administration of the city. But it's been a lackluster campaign season, leaving lots of folks confused about who to vote for and just not all that interested. And voters outside Houston city limits have even less impetus to head to the polls.
Kevin Mauzy is Chief Deputy in the Harris County Clerk's Office. He says they're projecting a 25-30 percent voter turnout.
"To do a good comparison we need to compare to the last time there was an open mayor's race which was 2003. Our numbers are somewhat down from what we saw then which will probably translate into maybe a slightly lower turnout on election day. But we are prepared, even if the numbers are higher, we are prepared we have the personnel and the equipment in place to handle whatever turnout there may be."
Long lines aren't likely to be a problem this election day. But with 728 precincts to man in Harris County, it's still a big job no matter how small the turnout.
"Normally there's more than 800, but typically some will be combined for various reasons and so the total will vary from election to election but this election we will have 728. We will employ approximately 5,000 judges and clerks, we will deploy about 6,600 pieces of voting equipment."
The election polls open tomorrow at 7AM and remain open until 7PM. Mauzy says there are a few things voters can do to make the process faster and smoother.
"On election day it's a good idea for the voter to know where there polling location is before they leave home — and those polling locations do tend to change from election to election so make sure even though you've voted somewhere else in the past, make sure where it is this time. Take your voter registration card with you or an acceptable form of ID to prove your identity when you go in to vote. You can also access the polling locations at HarrisVotes.com."
You can find a Harris County sample ballot along with information about local races on our website 2009 Election page.
Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.