Brazos Valley Voters Head to the Polls to Beat the Rush

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

Thousands of people across the Brazos Valley headed to the polls Monday to beat the the November 4th rush.

But could a record number of registered voters in Brazos County, also mean record wait times?

County Officials got their first taste of what's to come November fourth, as early voting began today in the Brazos Valley.

"It's been hard lately, so hopefully the new guy will make a better change," one voter said leaving the polls.

The stakes are high for people on both sides of the political fence.

"Obama is really going to make some changes," one voter said.

" I think he's conservative (McCain), and I really do like his running mate," said another voter.

"There's so many people going to vote and I think you need to get it over with," Voter David Kent said.

With more than 93,000 people registered to vote in Brazos County, voting early, could make a big difference in how long you wait.

Just four years ago the county had roughly 86,000 people registered to vote, this year they have about 7,000 more.

It's a large crowd county officials prepared for by putting extra machines at the polling places.

"The increase in a four year period is pretty tremendous, and we actually entered over 4500 new applicants in just a three week period prior to the deadline," Brazos County Tax Assessor-Collector Kristeen Roe said.

The high increase in newly registered voters is causing back log problems across the state where some new voters are showing up at the polls to find their names not on official voting lists.

The good news is those polling problems don't seem to be affecting the Brazos County.

"At this point in time we have everybody out there on the roles," Roe said.

Roe says her office doubled their efforts and staff to meet the demand of all the new applications and change forms coming in and were able to process everything by the end of last week.

"They came in on the weekend, and gave up their personal time to be able to make sure everyone was on the poll list for early voting," Roe said. "There shouldn't be any questions about that."

"This is one of the most critical elections ever in our history," Voter Courtney Walker said.

For Courtney Walker who stops by to cast her ballot on her lunch break, time really is of the essence.

"They found my name, they asked for my voter registration card, and everything went smoothly," Walker said.

For the most part everything in the area has gone smoothly.

Kristeen Roe says the only big problem they have run into is incomplete voter registration forms. So if you mailed in or dropped off your registration form incomplete you will be sent a new form in the mail that you need to complete fully so that it can be processed.

County officials say those who fall under that category will be given a 10 day window to respond to still be eligible to vote in this election.

In all, Brazos County saw more than 2,000 voters at the polls Monday.

Other counties:Grimes, Burleson, Madison, Leon, and Washington all report high numbers this afternoon, with Robertson County officials saying its seen a record turnout.

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