Transcript for Record turnout in key county has Democrats hoping to turn Texas blue
Nice ballad watch. While Texas has not voted for Democrat for president since 1976. A major surging early voting in the lone star state is giving Democrats new hope tonight that they could turn the traditionally red state blue next week. A lot of that is due to record voting numbers coming out of Harris County which is home to Houston Harris County alone has a higher population roughly 26 states. An early turnout numbers have now passed the total turnout there. In all of 2016. Joining us now. Is the man in charge of running elections there Harris County clerk Christopher Hollins thank you so much for joining us tonight. Absolutely good to see you see. So since taking over earlier this year you worked to dramatically expand early voting across Harris County offering drive through voting and as of today eight polling locations will remain open for 36 hours straight until early voting ends. Tomorrow evening why are they such important steps for UN and you anticipate a lot of voters will cast ballots tonight and late into the night. Yeah world democracy not a spectator sport now we all need to be involved. Engaged in times like this week to be voting for the next generation of leadership in this country it in this state in this county. And so it's been my honor to expand boating access here in Harris County. A levels never does seem book before in Texas and voters there responded by coming out in droves they were excited about. And quickly what are you expecting total voter turnout in Harris County to be an and how does that compare prior years. Wagging mission were passing up now the total burden voting turnout since 4016 which was itself a record. And so we're gonna push towards one point 51 point six million at least. Which is going to be huge for Harris county and you know folks is what it claimed there there's units April and had their voices heard. Where exactly protecting their right to vote this off. Of course there's been some significant legal limbo over how many Dropbox is you can have in Harris County a court ruling earlier this week upheld governor Abbott's decision to allow. Only one Dropbox per county in Texas now Harris counting as you well know. Is larger an area then the state of Rhode Island so at this point. With faith in the the Postal Service down for many people what's your message to voters who still haven't been. Haven't had the opportunity to mail in their absentee ballot just yet if there's only one Dropbox what are their other options. Well we're now as it weakened the election and so at this point you're putting your voted reais if you drop into a mailbox. And so you need to know let's listen some special way like priority mail UPS or FedEx or take that drive to our headquarters in RG green it's a common to live your ballot. But on Election Day we will reopen that twelve drop off sites. For mail ballots and so we want to give voters every single opportunity to make sure that vote gets to us. And that we count those votes this November. A lot of eyes will certainly be on your county Tuesday night as results start coming in some believe that a big night for biting in Harris County could actually tipped the scale in Texas and and may be a whole election. So when you think that the American public should begin to expect in the majority of the results in Harris County will actually be in. Those Dotson could be out on election night these one point four million or so early votes. Will be reported on election night just after the polls close at 7 PM. And throughout that night of course will be updating the results with Election Day totals and so immediately be night. But on election night Tuesday November 3 we will be sharing the results of the -- county election. And lastly we've been talking with election officials all over the country over the past few weeks and and I've asked each one of them this same question what's the number one thing that keeps you up at night. With regard to the election. It's what voters care about safety and long lines so we're making sure they were protecting our voters and our election workers. Call 800 of our Election Day voting sites. There we're gonna make sure that we move those lines along. Provide all of the equipment and and other resources necessary to make sure that those voting centers run smoothly and ultimately report absolves out. As soon as possible on election night. Christopher Collins thank you so much for your time we appreciate it. Good evening.
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