Counting Votes Before Election Day

The run-off for City Controller is underway with Councilmembers Ron Green and MJ Khan racing to the finish line. As Laurie Johnson reports — both men are relying largely on reputation and personal outreach to win the election.

It's a cold, blustery day at the West Gray Multi-Service Center where early voting is underway.

"Hopefully the weather will turn out for the best in the next couple of days...Hi, sir, please remember MJ Khan for City Controller!"

MJ Khan is out here on his lunch hour, handing out fliers and chatting with people in the parking lot.

He says this is his favorite part of running for office.

"I love it. I love it because it gives me an opportunity to voters directly and ask them for their support. I think voters appreciate that, so this is one part of campaign that I like the most. I don't want to reach out to the voters from long distance, from the telephone or even television or mail. I want to meet as many voters as possible."

And it's that personal touch that may make the difference in this race. Both Khan and Ronald Green are running low
profile races, mostly due to budgetary constraints. That means the outcome of the run-off could hinge on a few hundred votes.

"Voters I think know that there is an election going on. We're trying to make sure that they come out and vote and don't just take for granted that everything will be ok."

So it's not just an exercise in public relations to turn up at things like the Rock the Vote rally at Texas Southern University.

"Alright good afternoon, TSU. We'd like to thank for you staying in the Student Center at this time for our inaugural Get Out the Vote rally. We're just encouraging all the students to get out the vote. We're going to be providing transportation to the students immediately following this event right behind the Student Center."

For Green, it's about reminding young voters who he is and why they should vote for him.

"They were known as somewhat surge voters last November. But now we've got to let them know that the people you can touch and feel, the people you see every day are still on the ballot and I think that means something to them. When you actually reach out to them, they will be good voters for you."

About ten minutes after Green arrived and started chatting with TSU students, MJ Khan walked through the door.
And so goes another day of campaigning in Houston.


Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...