Today Is Last Day of Early Voting
Do it now, avoid Election Day crowds
By Lee Nichols,
2:53AM, Fri. Oct. 31, 2008
Go vote right now. If you don't vote today, then you'll have to wait until Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 4).
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir would really, really prefer that you not wait. She expects turnout for this election to be huge (I believe "tsunami" was the word she used), and she worries that if too many people wait until Election Day, county elections staff and facilities will be overwhelmed – which means you, the dear voter, will be inconvenienced and/or discouraged from voting by long lines.
She also strongly encourages you to do it earlier in the day rather than waiting until after work (like people less smart than you will do), because you know you aren't going to want to stand in line and delay getting your kiddos out for trick-or-treating (or getting yourself to that wicked cool Halloween party where that hottie in the smokin' sexy costume will be waiting).
Also remember: Early voting (when you can vote at any of the county's 26 early voting sites) is way more convenient than Election Day voting (when you have to vote in your neighborhood precinct). Most early voting sites open at 7am, but some open later.
After the jump are some important cautions and advice from DeBeauvoir:
Press release from Travis County:
“We won’t be surprised to see 50,000 voters on the final day – about twice the first-day turnout,” DeBeauvoir said. “We’re still trying to spread the word that voting early is going to be more convenient than voting on Election Day.”
DeBeauvoir reminded voters that the two mega voting sites (5501 Airport Blvd. and 4534 West Gate Blvd.) will be open until 9:00 pm on the final two days of Early Voting. Other sites close at 7:00 pm.
Adding to the typical excitement of the last day of Early Voting is the coincidental timing of Halloween.
Calls to the County Clerk’s office about whether costumes are permitted are increasing.
“It’s perfectly fine for voters to wear costumes to the polls, as long as they do not depict a particular candidate or political party,” DeBeauvoir said. “Also, masks, weapons or simulated weapons are not permitted.”
Standard prohibitions against electioneering apply to political buttons, t-shirts and caps. Voters who wear inappropriate items will be asked to remove or cover the items. Election judges are trained to work with voters to find a solution that avoids at all times turning voters away from the polls.
DeBeauvoir offered several suggestions to voters to help speed the voting process when they go to the polls.
1. Study a sample ballot on the Elections Division web site: www.traviscountyelections.org.
2. Bring your voter registration card if available.
3. If the voter registration card is not available, bring another form of identification.
A photo ID is NOT REQUIRED.
Acceptable forms of identification include:
• driver’s license or student ID
• Social Security card, passport or birth certificate
• official mail addressed to the voter from a governmental entity
• utility bill; bank statement or paycheck showing the voter’s name and current address.
4. Take advantage of eSlate demonstration units available at every Early Voting locations to review the functions of the voting equipment.
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Always ASK FOR HELP from an election worker with any questions BEFORE pressing the CAST BALLOT button.