Politics

Early voting underway for Nov. 6 election

Monday, October 22, 2012

The early voting period in Texas is now underway. For the next two weeks, millions of Texans can vote early for the general election.

There was a long line at the Multi-service Center on West Gray today as hundreds of voters cast their ballots early.

More than 13.6 million Texans, a record number, are registered to vote in this election and early voting is an easy way to avoid the crowds on Election Day. Voters have until November 2 to cast an early ballot. After that, you'll have to wait four days until November 6.

The Justice Department announced last week that it will monitor part of the early voting period both here in Harris and in Dallas counties. Voters carrying their voter registration cards do not have to show a photo ID.

Governor Mitt Romney is expected to win the state of Texas over President Obama. The replacement for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is something voters will decide this time around. Republican Ted Cruz is favored to win over Democrat Paul Sadler.

Retiring Republican Ron Paul has also opened up a congressional seat, over which former Congressman Nick Lampson, a Democrat, and Republican State Sen. Randy Weber Will battle. The district was re-drawn and includes Galveston and Beaumont.

Voters we talked to say while they do care about other races, this election year it's the economy that matters and they came out because of who they want to see in the White House.

"The deficit that the country was in, he's moving us out of it," said J. Gilbert, an Obama supporter.

"Hopefully, you want to do that you want to keep your job and you can do that with President Romney," said Brown, a Romney supporter

Houstonians will vote on several propositions this election. Two of them will affect funding for METRO and HISD.

METRO's General Mobility Program is set to expire on September 30,2014. It's funded by a 25 percent allocation from METRO's one-cent sales tax revenue, and pays for the construction and maintenance of streets and roadways, bridges, traffic-control signals and drainage related to METRO's facilities.

The other 75 percent of METRO's sales tax revenue pays for other METRO programs, including Park& Ride bus service, Light Rail, and HOV lanes.

The Houston school district is asking for nearly $2 billion to build dozens of new schools and improve others the district says are out-dated. HISD is looking to rebuild or renovate 38 schools if the new bond passes. No ground will be broken until 2014, at the earliest, and the district says it does not have a specific schedule nor an order of which school goes first or last.

If approved, it would raise the average tax bill for homeowners in the district by about $70.

What's nice about early voting is that you can vote at any polling place. If you wait though, you will have to go to your designated one.

Click here to find sample ballots, polling locations, candidate info and more.

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