HOUSTON — Thursday is your last chance to take advantage of 24-hour polls in Harris County as early voting wraps up ahead of the Nov. 2 election.
To make sure voters are prepared to head to the polls, digital anchor Brandi Smith talked to Lynn Munford, who is a strategic partnership coordinator with Harris County Elections.
Brandi: Early voting is about to wrap up. What do you want people to know in this last day and a half?
Lynn: In these last couple of days of early voting, we want to push how important it is for people to get out and vote. As of today, we've had about 79,000 people vote. We know that there are a lot more in Harris County who can get out and who are able to vote.
Today is a special day in that today we have late-night voting and 24-hour voting. So all polls are open until 10pm. Then we have about five other polls, which will post 24-hour voting. 24-hour voting benefits our emergency responders, our domestic workers, or service workers, or healthcare workers, people like that, who don't work traditional hours, who may have long hours and can't get to a poll.
Lynn: If you log on to our website, HarrisVotes.com, that's your best resource for getting any information that you might need for voting. If you want to check out the all of the polling locations, because for early voting, we have more than 90 available early voting locations, you want to check it out before you go. Because sometimes we have inclement weather, sometimes that impacts different aspects of voting and facilities. So you want to look at that before you go. That will have your most recent information, as well as you can log on to our website and get the wait time. So maybe you're out running errands, you're picking up the kids from school or whatever, you're saying, 'Hey, I have a little time in between my next destination. Maybe I can go ahead and go vote. Let me look and see what's closest to me and what has the quickest wait time. I can get in and out.'
Brandi: The website is also a great resource for information about what is actually on the ballot. I jumped on the other day and checked out my sample ballot, a lot of constitutional amendments on this ballot for for Nov. 2.
Lynn: Definitely. So often we hear people get excited about some of the bigger races, right? And that always drives turnout. But we want people to realize that all of the races are important all the elections matter.
No matter where you live in Harris County, you have something on your ballot. You can go to HarrisVotes.com and pull your sample ballot. You'll find the eight proposed constitutional amendments, as well as, depending on where you are in the county, you may have a municipal utility district race, school board race, some other municipal races, and some emergency services district races. It's just about where you live in the county. So be sure to go to our website and pull up your sample ballot so that you can see specifically what's on your ballot, as well as you can take that time to make your choices and selections before you head to the polls. So then you're informed, you have all the information you need.
If you want to go and look up some of the constitutional amendments, we've actually gone over them. It's all on our social media. We've partnered with the library some time ago and went through some of it. Also, you can go to the League of Women Voters website and they have actually a much more detailed breakdown in terms of some of the benefits and things may be. We can't get into the all of that. However, the League of Women Voters has that information on their website and we have it on our social media where you can look at it and review it.
But you could take your sample ballot into the poll with us you can make your selections. You don't have to try to remember all the information. You can make those decisions beforehand and take the paper with you into the polling location and make your selections there.
Brandi: It seems like that would make the process just that much quicker, in and out.
Lynn: Exactly. That's the whole goal was to make it efficient and that people are able to make their decisions and be informed voters. Take that time to to research on the front end and make their decisions and go into the poll.
Brandi: Was there anything else that you want voters to know about either early voting or Election Day on Tuesday?
Lynn: Just that Election Day is actually Tuesday. That is important. We don't want to forget that the polls will be open from 7a to 7p on Election Day. There will be more than 700 polls open all over the county. Ideally, we want people to vote during early voting, but we know that we have some traditional people who love to go to their neighborhood location on Election Day. It's just ceremonial to them. There's no talking them out of it, and we appreciate it. But what you should still do is log on to our website, HarrisVotes.com, look up your polling location and the wait times, so that way you can plan accordingly.
If you haven't, take this time, take these next couple of days, maybe the weekend, to make your vote plan. So log on to the website, look at your sample ballot. Make sure you have all of your ID and things in order, decide what polling location you'll go to, what time of day you want to go. Make your selections and take that paper with you and head to the polls and cast your ballot.
For more information about voting in Harris County, click here.