Early voting started Monday across Texas and thousands of the 13.6 million Texans who are registered to vote, took advantage of the opportunity. Orange County reports that 3,248 people cast their ballot so far in this early voting period.
In the early dawn hours some people were already up and at 'em, waiting their turn to exercise their right to vote on the first day of early voting. The line was out the door at the Rogers Park Recreation center off Gladys and Dowlen in Beaumont. The reasons for the early turnout vary as much as the candidates themselves. Joan Stokely says, "I just feel more secure that my vote is cast and that I have tried to choose the best candidate."
In the 2008 election the Jefferson County clerks office says more than half of those who voted in the general election, did so before election day. Mallory Anderson says her reason for voting early is because of her schedule, "I'm actually going out of town so I wanted to make sure I was voting. I get to vote before I left town."
But others like Larry Frank say it's just on their list of things to do, "Just cause I got other things I want to do and I want to make sure I get it in."
Nakisha Jones says, "I'd rather come early to get it out of the way and have my vote cast in."
These early voters are not taking this election, or their decision lightly. Carla Viator talks about that importance when she says, "My vote, everybody's vote counts. Because it's the only thing that Americans can do for change."
Whether early voters fall on the right side of the line or the left side, each one is in that line because they want their vote to count and their voice to be heard. And Viator says, "I believe everybody needs to vote. If you don't vote, you can't complain."
The hours are for the early voting polls are from 8am to 5pm.