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Another reason to vote early

Your Election Day polling location may not be what you’re used to.

Recent redistricting will force about 20 percent of Harris County voters to cast ballots at new polling locations on Election Day, County Clerk Stan Stanart said Monday.

That makes early voting – when voters can cast ballots at any of 37 locations countywide – even more important, he and other county officials said.

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“Some people are going to be in a different location on Election Day simply because of redistricting,” Stanart said. “We can’t prevent that, but what we can do is encourage people to vote early, and that’s what this message is about.”

I’m a dyed-in-the-wool early voter, so this doesn’t affect me. If you’re a hardcore Election Day traditionalist, I suggest you go here and verify your precinct location. Wouldn’t want to have any unpleasant surprises on November 6.

The County Clerk’s office sent out the following press release about a campaign to encourage people to vote early:

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart and Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack in partnership with Clear Channel VP Lee Vela, unveiled a countywide billboard campaign promoting early voting among the 1.95 million registered voters in the nation’s third largest voting jurisdiction. The initiative is scheduled to run for 30 days, leading up to and beyond the beginning of the early voting period.

“As the County’s Chief Election Official, I am very appreciative of the support Clear Channel is providing to encourage early voting in the upcoming election,” said Stanart. “In an election year when the redistricting process may have changed voters’ Election Day poll, it is very important that voters heed the billboard message and vote early.” Early Voting begins Monday, October 22 and ends Friday, November 2.

In addition to several digital signs, Clear Channel donated 40 traditional billboards which are now posted across the county. “We are proud to be a part of this campaign to reach Harris County voters. These donated billboards will generate more than 3.8 million viewers each week for a total of more than 15 million viewings before early voting starts”, said Lee Vela, Clear Channel Vice-President of Public Affairs.

The billboards provide Harris County voters important information about voting in English as well others languages covered by language provisions of the 1975 Voting Rights Act, including Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese. Commissioner Radack emphasized that the objective of the billboard campaign is to promote early voting among all county voters.

“Exercise your duty and right to vote as soon you are able. Please do not wait until the last day of early voting or the last few hours of Election Day to vote,” Stanart stated at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center in west Houston, which serves as one of 37 early voting locations in Harris County.

“Early Voting schedules, maps, voting requirements, Election Day locations and everything a voter needs to know to enable their participation in this election can be found at www.HarrisVotes.com,” Stanart concluded.

It should be noted that there are some different Early Voting locations, too, so check here for a map. Early voting starts October 22 and runs through November 2. However you do it, just remember to go vote.

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One Comment

  1. Chris Daniel says:

    Since I also get the phone calls and complaints (due to the confusion of the names of our offices: Harris County Clerk vs Harris County District Clerk), I welcome the efforts of my counterpart to try to assuage the possible problems that might occur on election day.

    I was an election judge for my precinct in 2008 and saw first hand the influx of new voters voting in a historic election. If there is any repeat in enthusiasm, efforts like these to get folks to vote early should help mitigate any confusion.

    Chris Daniel
    District Clerk

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