Scenes From The Polls: Election Day Slows in Fort Bend County

Photo by Margaret Downing

"It’s real quiet,” said Barbara Hall as she sat in a lawn chair outside a Fort Bend polling place at Elkins High School Tuesday. “I worked the primaries and we were busy then. Had to turn some people away when the polls closed at 7. Hardly anybody’s coming over today. I guess they all voted early.”

Hall, who was handing out Dora Olivo flyers, said she got there at 7 this morning and planned to stay till polls close at 7. “Things might pick up around 6 today.”

Does she ever change someone’s mind at the last minute? “You never know,” she said with a pleasant smile.

As for herself, she voted two weeks ago. “I came to the conclusion I’d heard enough. I’m voting for Obama. I don’t want to hear anymore. I don’t even want to hear from him. I made my mind up.”

Inside, election judge Mac Hooton and the election workers were moving things along at a steady pace. A line of about 20 people stood waiting.

Hooton said there was a line of people when he got there just after 6 and he got polls open on time by 7. Complications were few – a dozen people showed up who needed to go to other polling places. He’d only had one provisional ballot an hour into the process.

Mostly he was amazed at the increase in the number of voters. They’ve added 2,600 people to the rolls just since last year’s elections. In fact, more people voted early this time than were on the rolls last year – a level of voting he says he hasn’t seen since World War II.

Margaret Downing




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