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Election 2016

Harris County Pushes Early Voting, In Expectation of High Presidential Election Turnout

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart anticipates 1.4 million voters will cast ballots this year, up from 1.2 million in 2012. He warns people to expect long lines if they wait till the final day of early voting, let alone the last few hours of Election Day.


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Stan Stanart
Andrew Schneider
Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, speaking at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center.

Early voting in Texas for the 2016 election begins in a month. It will run through November 4. The Harris County Clerk's office is encouraging voters to take advantage of the window, in order to avoid long lines at the polls.

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart estimates 2.2 million people will be registered to vote by Election Day. That's about half the county's total population.

"The last presidential [election] we had 1.2 million voters in Harris County," Stanart says. "We are planning and putting in the infrastructure to support 1.4 million voters to show up."

The county will operate a record 46 early voting locations this year, in order to accommodate heavy turnout for the presidential contest. Even so, voters shouldn't wait till the last minute.

"We will probably do 100,000 people on the last day of early voting," Stanart says. "Do not get caught up in that masses of people, the parking situations, and there could be lines." He warns voters should expect similar delays if they wait till the last few hours of Election Day to go to the polls.

Absentee voting is also an option for senior citizens, disabled individuals, and certain other groups. The deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot is Friday, October 28.