Houston looks to boost turnout by offering 24-hour voting

Houston looks to boost turnout by offering 24-hour voting

10/30/2020 10:36:00 PM

Houston looks to boost turnout by offering 24-hour voting

The most populous county in Texas is making a concerted effort to increase voter turnout by offering eight 24-hour polling places

to go out into the night — and early morning — to vote.“It feels good to see my people out there that are ready to vote, ready to be heard ... If you haven’t voted yet, you need to drive on over. The polls are open right now,” the Houston-based performer said during the livestreamed concert Thursday.

Trump skips G20 pandemic event to visit golf club as virus ravages US Christmas in lockdown preferred by UK public over new restrictions in January Boris Johnson ‘acted illegally’ over jobs for top anti-Covid staff

Many followed the rapper’s advice as they flocked to the polling sites inHarris County— Texas’ most populous county — to cast their ballots starting late Thursday and into Friday, the last day of early voting in the state.“It’s very convenient, especially for those people that work at night and sleep during the day,” Silveria Sanchez, 36, an emergency medical technician dispatcher, said after voting around 12:30 a.m. Friday during a break from her overnight shift at the Texas Medical Center. She walked five minutes to cast her ballot at a polling station at a food court in the sprawling Houston hospital complex.

Harris County officials have launched some innovative efforts to make it easier to vote in the presidential election. As well as the 24-hour polling sites, the county offers drive-thru voting, and has encouraged its voters to cast their ballots early. It has also challenged the state over limits on mail-in voting and drop-off boxes for absentee ballots. By Thursday evening, Harris County had surpassed its entire 2016 voter

turnoutof 1.3 million and, as of Friday morning, Texas voters had cast more than the state's total 8,969,226 votes of 2016.“Hopefully in the future, dozens of counties follow our lead and offer a night of 24-hour voting to support their voters,” said Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins.

Voting sites that stay open 24 hours are rare, according to Michael Pomante, an assistant professor of political science at Jacksonville University in Florida. In March, Los Angeles County offered six 24-hour voting locations during the presidential primary.

“Harris County seems to be doing what they can at the county level to improve access to the polls,” Pomante said.Some who attended Bun B's concert Thursday night then drove to a nearby polling site at NRG Arena, which saw a steady stream of late night and early morning voters. Some danced as a DJ kept the party going in a parking lot.

By around 11 p.m. Thursday, Claudia Macias, 46, an educator from Houston, had cast her ballot and was standing outside the arena in the cold night air. She recalled how a woman who voted before her was escorting her much older mother who had “dressed to the nines” to go out and vote.

England lockdown will end on 2 December – but country will face tougher tier system, Boris Johnson to announce Invoking a fantasy Winston Churchill won’t help as Brexit becomes grim reality | Nick Cohen José Mourinho send Pep-ball packing in a rivalry that always delivers | Barney Ronay

The woman apologized to Macias because her mother was slow.“I go: ’We have 24 hours. You don’t worry about the time. You let her take her time to go in there and cast her vote,'” Macias said.About 3 miles (5 kilometers) away at the Texas Medical Center, Ashley Lee, 32, Christian Mata, 24, and Tiffany Wiltz voted at around 1 a.m. They are all pharmacy technicians at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and usually work until 11 p.m.

Lee said having the 24-hour voting site at the medical center made sense as many health care workers have shifts that can make it difficult to vote.“We work long hours. This is perfect,” said Wiltz.At Victory Worship Center, a church in north Houston, a steady stream of voters came in late Thursday night and early Friday. By around 2 a.m., the pace had slowed.

"I was surprised how many people came in. We’ve had a good flow,” said Herman Williams, the precinct judge at the polling station.At a multiservice center in Kashmere Gardens, one of Houston’s historically African American neighborhoods, Felix Sylvester, 65, was the only person casting a ballot at around 3 a.m. Friday.

He voted after finishing his shift at a grain silo in suburban Houston at around 2 a.m. Sylvester said he hopes the county has 24-hour voting locations in future elections.“It would accommodate those of us who want to avoid those lines and it would also accommodate those of us who have these kind of weird hours,” he said.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s top elected official, said she hopes 24-hour voting locations will become permanent.“Folks want to participate. They just have to be invited. This effort is part of that. It’s part of really opening the doors of government,” Hidalgo said.

___Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70 Read more: The Independent »

'Fake Google reviews are damaging my business'

Google says it monitors posts for violations 24 hours a day and complies with all local laws.

Teenage girl charged with murder after 24-year-old man stabbed to deathPolice inspector urges public to avoid speculation over ‘challenging’ case Such an awful story 😢 there must be more to it since police are asking to reserve judgement, still no matter what happened it's such a tragic loss of young lives

Coronavirus: Another 23,065 COVID-19 cases and 280 deaths recorded in last 24 hoursA further 23,065 people have tested positive for COVID19 in the UK and another 280 have died, according to the latest government data You lot -MSM and Politicians - are really turning on the scaremongering. We will not buy it anymore. People are waking up, and you will find a storm is coming. Below you will find an up to date graph of hospital admissions from respiratory infections. IT'S LESS THAN LAST YEAR. scientificrealm I talk to trump and he said that didnt happen But it was reported yesterday that 100000 people are getting it every day. So which is it

Conjoined twin babies fused at head successfully separated after 24 hour surgeryAbigail and Micaela Bachinskiy were separated during a 24 hour operation performed over the weekend

Girl, 14, arrested for murder after man, 24, stabbed to deathAn air ambulance and paramedics were scrambled after the man was found with serious stab injuries in Crawley.

Teenage girl, 14, arrested on suspicion of murder of man, 24, near train stationEmergency services were called to Russell Way in Three Bridges, Crawley at 9pm on Tuesday evening where they found a 24-year-old man with serious injuries

Conjoined twin babies fused at head successfully separated after 24 hour surgeryAbigail and Micaela Bachinskiy were separated during a 24 hour operation performed over the weekend