Early voters say issues concern them more than candidates

With just two days of early voting left before the March 1 primary, turnout could be fairly described as "tepid" with only a fraction of people eligible choosing to cast ballots thus far.

And yet many of those who are participating say they've been pulled to the polls by concerns around public safety. 

At the West Gray early voting location Monica Fisher says she's supporting candidates who've pledged to support and expand the presence of Police on Houston Streets.

"Now where ever I go, I have to think twice before I come out of the car and I feel very uncomfortable, very uncomfortable," said Fisher.

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Among voters we spoke with the call for "change" on the local level was a unifying thread.  In fact, none were satisfied with the status-quo.

"Get rid of crime. Get some new people in. Let's move forward," said voter Judy Mucasey.

"Definitely crime and the Southern border with the migrants," said Susan Buckley before casting her ballot at the Mendenhall Community Center.

Also drawing plenty of folks to the polls is the belief that a fresh round of Republican-sponsored reforms, including new stricter rules for mail-in ballots, have made it more difficult to vote resulting in what critics call "calculated suppression"

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"People who may have a little trouble reading, and I'm very concerned that their vote won't be counted. And that is very important to me, to make sure that everyone can vote and their vote is counted," said voter Susan Taylor.

And then there's the growing number of voters like Jack Blanton who wasn't particularly happy about any of the choices.

I'm tired of, you know, everybody is far left or far right and we get nothing done," said Blanton after voting at West Gray.

Also, on the radar of many Houstonians casting ballots were issues involving public education including the teaching of so-called "Critical Race Theory".