HOUSTON - The final weekend of early voting is underway in Texas for what’s already been a historic election year.
“People are really trying to make their vote count and get their word out,” said Hannah Ridaux, an early voter. “[They want] to make their voices heard.”
Early voting in Texas started about a week earlier than normal. So far, more than 1 million ballots have been submitted through early voting in Harris County.
“I really just wanted to get it over with and I’m glad I got it done,” said Ethan Ridaux.
“Previously, I voted on Election Day only,” said Patrick Bishara. “I figured, why not vote early this time around.”
New in 2020, 120 early-voting locations scattered across Harris County, including some drive-thru stations. Also, more than 130,000 people have already voted by mail.
“We have a lot of locations for people to go out and vote,” said Roxanne Werner from the Harris County Clerk’s Office. “We’re really seeing turnout up across the board.”
On Saturday, MTV hosted a “Vote Early Day” at the Toyota Center in downtown Houston.
After people voted, there was a red carpet to take pictures from for social media.
“The difference between this election and previous ones, is just the cool factor,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “There’s that vibe.”
While more than 1 million people have voted in Harris County, there are roughly 2.4 million registered voters.
“We don’t want people to think there’s going to be long lines,” said Werner. “We have a wait time feature on our website at harrisvotes.com/location.
Early voting in Texas ends on October 30. The 2020 election will take place on November 3.
Right now, Harris County is on pace to break its early voting participation record set in 2016, when 1.34 million ballots were submitted before Election Day.
“Typically millennials don’t vote,” said Hannah Ridaux. “So this year, a lot of our elders are getting involved and being like, you better get out and vote, like my mom.”