Candidates prepare for Election Day

November 3, 2011 10:00:00 PM PDT
It's your voice, your vote. On Tuesday, voters head to the polls to decide several key races and state propositions, so candidates and county officials are preparing for Election Day.

The mayor and every City Council seat in Houston is up for grabs. Though Mayor Annise Parker doesn't face a serious challenge, a lot of other candidates are wondering just who will end up as the winners. Our expert says get ready for some very close races.

Amidst a sea of campaign signs, the challenge of standing out on Election Day is finally here. All 16 City Council seats are at stake, perhaps none more competitive than the citywide At Large 2 seat, which has 10 candidates.

"In this particular race, 10 votes can make a difference. I've had friends that have actually lost as few as two, so every vote matters," At-Large 2 candidate Kristi Thibaut said.

Councilwoman Jolanda Jones is also facing two serious challengers in her bid to stay in the At Large 5 position.

Over all, KTRK political analyst Dr. Richard Murray says turnout is expected to hover around 10 percent, or just over 100,000 voters in Harris County.

"We know it's going to be a miserably low turnout, so if you want to have an influence on an election, it's a good day to vote," Murray said.

Even though turnout is already expected to be pretty low, candidates say they're now worried that bad weather could keep even more voters at bay.

"I'm going to try to have everybody with umbrellas at the polls, so they can kind of assist people getting out of their cars and things," City Council District C candidate Karen Derr said.

Derr is just one of five candidates hoping to win in District C. Ellen Cohen is also in that race. She says at this point, campaigns have done all they can and it's basically up to the voters.

"You've walked every house you can walk, you've mailed everything you can mail, you've called everybody you can call, and now it's just really -- for me -- it's just making sure people know that the election day is tomorrow and just getting people out," Cohen said.

With more than 4,000 poll workers fanned out across the county, Harris County Clerk Stan Stenart says they're ready for Election Day.

"I am encouraging people to go occupy the polls, take a few minutes to go vote," Stenart said.

Besides the city of Houston, several school boards are also having elections, as well as a number of state propositions.

Polls will be open from 7am to 7pm. But unlike early voting, you will have to vote in your designated precinct.

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