Harris County residents shattered records for on the first day of early voting. More than 128,000 locals headed to the polls on Tuesday, October 13, representing more than 5 percent of all 2.4 million Harris County voters, Houston Public Media notes.
The previous one-day record is 100,005 votes on the last day of the 2016 election, according to the office of Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins.
“We’ve already shattered the ‘opening day’ record for Early Voting turnout,” Hollins tweeted.
The clerk’s office reported long lines at numerous locations, but that didn’t deter eager voters. “I think this is the most important vote in history,” voter Theotis Carter told Click2Houston.
On the mail side, more than 41,000 mail-in ballots had been returned on Tuesday night, according to the county clerk. This far, 169,523 votes have been counted in the general election.
Voting in Harris County is still seeing its share of controversy, as the Republican Party of Texas filed a lawsuit against Hollins to stop curbside voting. (There are currently 10 curbside polling locations in Harris County.) The Republican Party claims that “Chris Hollins is telling all Harris County residents that they are eligible for curbside voting when he knows that is not the case. Any voter that does not qualify to vote curbside under narrow statutory language would be voting illegally if allowed to vote drive-through,” according to a press release.
Hollins fired back in a statement, saying:
The Republican Party has feverishly used its resources to limit voters' ability to exercise their constitutional right to vote this November instead of figuring out ways to help voters know their rights. This lawsuit is not only frivolous, but it’s also a gross misrepresentation of the differences between curbside voting — for voters with disabilities, including illness — and drive-thru voting, which is available for all voters who want to vote from the safety and convenience of their vehicle. My office is focused on ensuring voter safety and access this fall. We invite all political parties to join us in that mission.
The last day of early voting is October 30 and Election Day is November 3.