Thousands Turn Out For Early Voting

While much of the country is still divided on who will be the next president of the United States, thousands lined up Monday in East Texas to cast their ballot, for the first day of early voting.
With the debates behind them, President Bush and Senator John Kerry are campaigning to the end, to get more votes in this highly contested race.
In Smith County, a high number of early voters were lining up, already sure of who will get their vote.
"I decided a long time ago which way I wanted to go," said voter Bill Goolsby.
According to the latest CNN/USA-Today/Gallup poll, among likely voters, the President is ahead of Senator Kerry by a 52% to 44% margin. The race is closer among registered voters, where President Bush has a 49% to 46% margin over Senator Kerry.
Early voters KLTV spoke to were ready to have their say.
"There's a need for a change, so the people will be coming out to vote to express their opinion," said Leroy Francis Sr.
"My candidate, when he was in the debates showed me that he was the man that I think can run this country in a positive way, get things done," said Mariah Brooks.
"Listening to both candidates and hearing their perspective and just trying to get a broader perspective than just like the debates," said Dan Velie, "I think it's important that everybody vote and I'm pretty conservative by nature."
Some of those who came out on Monday said the election is not about the party, but the person. "Sometimes you say it's very good for economic," said Maria Mendez, "but we are looking for the best. We're not looking for the good, the bad, the whatever, we are looking for the best."
Early numbers showed that more than 1,600 people placed their vote at one polling location in downtown Tyler. In this election, officials expect some of the highest voter turnout in the nations's history.
For a list of voting locations, call your county courthouse. Early voting runs until October 29. Election day is November 2.

Maya Golden reporting,