Juanita Jeys knows the drill on Election Day, when she’d rather spend her time campaigning instead of voting.
So she makes sure to cast her ballot well ahead of time.
Jeys, 73, who has been politically active since campaigning for then-U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964, was stationed in the parking lot at SPJST Lodge 88 in the Heights early Tuesday afternoon. She was passing out brochures and talking to voters about Carol Denson, a Democratic candidate for the District 148 seat in the Texas House of Representatives.
Immediately beforehand, Jeys voted. She had ridden her bicycle nearly 2 miles from her home at the Heights House retirement complex to the polling place at 1435 Beall St.
“I take care of business before I get about the business,” she said.
Jeys was one of hundreds of area residents, and thousands across the Houston area, to take advantage of the first two days of early voting for the Nov. 5 municipal election. There are races for mayor, city council seats, trustee positions in Houston ISD and Houston Community College and the aforementioned seat in the state’s house of representatives. The ballot also includes a bond item from METRO and 10 amendments to the Texas Constitution.
Early voting lasts through Nov. 1. All 52 early voting locations in Harris County will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. each day except Sunday, Oct. 27, when polls will be open from 1-6 p.m.
Registered Harris County voters can cast ballots at any of the locations. Along with SPJST Lodge 88, the other early voting locations in or near the area are the Grand Tuscany Hotel at 12801 Northwest Fwy., Moody Park Community Center at 3725 Fulton St., the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center at 6719 W. Montgomery Rd. and Lone Star College Victory Center at 4141 Victory Dr.
According to the Harris County Clerk’s Office, which administers elections, a total of 1,653 people voted at those five locations on Monday and Tuesday, with only the SPJST Lodge seeing an uptick on the second day. There were 22,995 ballots cast across the county on the first two days, including 5,708 ballots returned by mail.
Roxanne Werner, a spokesperson for Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman, said those early turnout figures were “about normal.” A small but steady number of voters visited SPJST Lodge 88 during the lunch hour Tuesday.
“We’re still just encouraging people to go vote,” Werner said. “Hopefully as time goes on, we’ll see more people heading to the polls.”
For more information about how and where to vote, visit harrisvotes.com.