Republican Gov. Rick Perry is really running a nice show down in Texas. First the warehouse housing all Harris County (Houston’s) voting equipment burned up in a suspicious fire, and now thugs are harassing voters at minority early-voting precincts. Of course, the fire caused a shortage of machines because they couldn’t borrow or gain delivery of enough new ones to replace all the ones that were lost in time for election day. Thus, officials are stressing the importance of early voting. I don’t think this skulduggery is going to work:

Voters came out in droves on Monday, Oct. 18, the first day of early voting for the 2010 elections. The Kingwood Branch Library and Octavia Fields Branch Library (in Humble) in particular had continuous 15 to 20 minute wait-times just to get in to vote.

Early voting has been urged due to the late-August fire that destroyed voting machines in Harris County.

Judge Lynn Bradshaw-Hull, running for the 280th district court, was pleased with the turnout.

“I’m not surprised at this turnout,” she said. “It’s contagious how excited people are about the early voting.”

Christy Whittington, head librarian at Kingwood Library, said it was proof of the democratic process at work, and that it was really nice to see such a good turnout.

Diane Trautman, who is running for Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, was impressed.

“I’m thrilled to see so many voters out,” she said. “I think the voters are taking their choices very seriously, and I hope to see the same level of turnout and participation throughout the early vote process.”

In all, 26,051 ballots were cast in Harris County on day one of early voting; the Kingwood Library alone had 1,332 votes cast.

The more they try to depress turnout, the more fired up people get.

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