We’re only on day 6 of early voting here in Texas and we’re already breaking records here in Harris County. We have 2.4 million registered voters, and as of yesterday over 500,000 have already cast their vote! We’re not even a solid week into early voting and 20% of registered voters in Harris County have already voted! I’m so proud of my city. I regularly brag about Houston being dope, but we’re going above and beyond now and part of that is due to our County Clerk.
You might already be aware of this, but if you aren’t Texas has a really strict mail-in-ballot policy. Essentially, you have to be elderly, disabled (and COVID doesn’t count as a disability) or absentee voting in order to do a mail-in-ballot. On top of those restrictions, Governor Abbott mandated that there only be one ballot drop off box per county. This idiot rule was fought and eventually upheld by the Texas Supreme Court so this means that a county as big as Harris County with over 4 million people and 2.4 million registered voters get just as many drop-off boxes as a county like Loving County, which only has 67 residents. Let that sink in. In my opinion, it’s voter suppression, but I guess the law didn’t see it that way because the mandate is still in effect. We originally had 12 drop-off boxes here in Harris County, but now we’re down to one and it’s at our football stadium, NRG Stadium.
You’re probably wondering how so many people have been able to safely vote even with mail-in-ballots qualifications being so few. Well, our County Clerk, Chris Collins the GOAT! Not only do we have the standard voting option, where poll workers are ensuring that folks are social distancing and voting safely at enough polling locations to almost fill a 33 page PDF document, but we have new options this year for folks! This year we have the option of drive-in voting where we can pull up to one of the ten drive-in polling locations, turn off our vehicles and phones and vote from the comfort of our vehicles. We also have curbside voting, two of our sports arenas are polling locations, and if I’m not mistaken there will be a few 24-hour polling locations on the last day of early voting. Chris’ office has made sure that we’re able to do our civic duty and vote, ensuring that our voices are heard and I appreciate that.
I actually voted at one of our sports arenas last week, since it was only a few blocks from my office and I was in and out. I hope we keep this trend up and all 2.4 million registered voters actually vote this election. What about y’all? Have you voted early? Or do you plan on waiting til election day?