Early voting for November 8 election begins

October 25, 2011 2:34:31 AM PDT
It's the first day of early voting for the November 8 election. Houston's mayor's office and some city council seats are up for grabs.

Mayor Annise Parker cast her vote at a location that with a lot of empty booths. Early voting got off to a very slow start. In this city election, it's estimated that only 13 percent of registered voters will cast ballots.

Voters who did show up say more people should make their voices heard.

"I just always vote and city elections always are very important. Sometimes you just don't realize that they are going on but everybody should come out and support their candidate," said voter Brad Odom.

There is a lot at stake for Houstonians, all 16 Houston city council spots are up for grabs, and two of them are newly created by redistricting. There are three contested races for seats on the HISD board and 10 state constitutional amendments, one of them to protect our water supply.

But issue number one for voters is the economy, which was not lost on the mayor or her challengers.

"To continue the work we have been doing on growing the city both for business wise for jobs, the economy," said voter Tom Downing.

"This has been a tough budget. It's difficult to balance two city budgets without a tax increase and without laying off any public safety personnel, not a single police officer or a firefighter," said Mayor Parker. "The long this recession goes on the harder and harder that becomes."

"I was in the manufacturing business here and I think I can add that to it," said candidate mayor Jack O'Connor. "I think jobs, jobs really is the most important issue right now. But the budget has to be straightened out for this to be a viable city and for businesses outside to think that they want to come here."

Also running for mayor is Kevin Simms, Amanda Allman, Dave Wilson and Fernando Herrera.

Residents can vote until November 4. There are 37 early voting locations throughout the county.

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