Houstonians Head to the Polls

Houstonians are heading to the polls today to vote on everything from who will be governor of Texas to local issues, like red light cameras. Bill Stamps stopped by a few polling precincts and has this report on how things have gone so far.
Precinct Judge Nat West was awakened in the middle of the night by the powerful thunderstorms that rocked the Houston area.

"Lightening struck around three-thirty this morning and of course we had to be on site about six o'clock in order to be open for business at seven o'clock."

West says the storm knocked out power at his home so he wasn’t sure if he’d have electricity at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church for Election Day. He was able to breathe a sigh of relief when the lights did indeed come on. But by early afternoon, voter turnout was pretty low.

"We have not gotten the turnout that we really want today and I say that by looking at both sides of the coin."

He went on to say that so many people voted during the early voting period that there simply aren’t as many people left who haven’t voted. One person was Houston’s Brandon Stowe who stopped by the Rippley Houston on Navigation road to cast his ballot. A minute after walking in he came walking back out.

"I guess on early voting you can vote at any precinct and on the day of you have to vote at yours and I wasn’t aware of that."

Stowe says he didn’t know the rule because he normally votes early and just didn’t have the time this year.

Depending on where you go, voters may see lots of poll watchers with clipboards. During early voting, there were allegations that some poll watchers were intimidating voters at some minority locations. But at the Wheeler avenue location — a predominately minority location — Nat West says he doesn’t have any problems and stopped just short of questioning whether those other allegations are actually true.

"We don’t have anybody opposing anybody, threatening anybody, bothering anybody. And if somebody wants to say well how is your precinct different from another one. If someone else says mutt and Jeff are fighting and my thing is, I have no control over mutt and Jeff."

West has been a precinct judge for more than two decades. He says he just wants to have a fair election and let the best man or woman win.


For more information, visit kuhf local election coverage.