Secretary of State Drops in as Brazos County Preps for Elections

The new Texas Secretary of State made a stop in Bryan on her trek across the state before Election Day.

Hope Andrade has been on the job for just two months, but in Texas, is now in charge of what could be one of the biggest elections in history.

"There's a lot of energy out there," Andrade said. "We're just making sure we work closely with our counties to make sure this is a positive experience for all Texans."

As Andrade encouraged voters to get out to the polls on November 4 and during early voting -- which starts October 20 -- Brazos County's officials were working to make sure those who couldn't make it to local polls were able to cast a ballot.

"We're getting in 200 to 300 requests a day, which is very high," said County Clerk Karen McQueen of the absentee ballots. "I've had to pull extra people to come in and work to try to get these ballots out the next day."

As of Wednesday, McQueen and busy workers had sent out 2,400 ballots by mail. That number will rise in the coming days.

In a county where state statistics show 59 percent of registered voters turned out in 2004, McQueen says about 90 percent of absentee ballots will likely come back.

The polling places will still certainly be busy, and McQueen says getting calls from would-be election workers to help out is always appreciated.

"We're always looking for people to put on our list as standby or last minute drop outs," she said. "We can call these workers and say, 'We need you. Can you work?' Nine times out of 10, they will come work for us."

If you're interested in helping out at the polls, you can contact the county clerk's office. There is training involved, but you do get paid for the hours you work, and they're always looking for names to put on their call list just in case.

We've also got links to more voting information listed below.

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