Elections

Why Voters In Harris County Matter

100,000 more residents are registered to vote this election

Nearly 2 million Harris County residents are registered to vote. That’s a 100,000 more than during the last municipal election two years ago. 

Mike Sullivan is Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar. He says voters must have one of seven forms of identification in order to cast a ballot. If not, a provisional ballot will be presented for them to use.

“It will go into an envelope, and then it will be up to that person to come in to one of my 17 branch offices, to present an accepted form of ID. Then we make a notation, and the ballot is then sent on to the ballot board to be counted,” said Sullivan.

And to ensure everyone votes without interference or discrimination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruben Perez will be on hand as the district election officer. His charge is to ensure the integrity of the election process.

“As far as being on duty on Election Day, to make sure that people’s concerns are addressed. In consultation with the Justice Department, the FBI, local officials, and we just want to make sure that everybody’s right to vote is protected,” said Perez.

Heading the ballot is the race for governor, the first open election since 1990. And with so many issues and candidates on the ballot, the major political parties feel confident their supporters will turn out.

Lane Lewis, chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party, says they succeeded in emulating the massive voter outreach effort of the President’s re-election.

“We set the bar this year, on the number of senior turnout. And the other thing that I’m very proud of, is that on the statewide polls, our top of the ticket, Senator Wendy Davis, polled very low with senior voters statewide. But yet here in Harris County, because of a very well structured and well-run program, she’s winning the Senior vote,” said Lewis.

Paul Simpson, who heads the Harris County Republican Party, says the GOP is just as energized with offices all over the county. He says a serious media blitz and a solid ground operation give them confidence that they can reverse their fortunes.

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“The key is everybody needs to vote. It’s a divided county where a lot of people have thought that Harris County was Republican. The last three cycles have shown that’s not the case. It is now a swing county, which means, we’re in a pitch battle, every nook and cranny of this county. That’s we have a ground game to get all of our voters out to vote. And, just because Greg Abbott is winning elsewhere in the state, doesn’t mean he’s winning in Harris County,” said Simpson.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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