No major problems reported in first day of early voting - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TYLER (KLTV)

No major problems reported in first day of early voting

It's the first day of an historic election, and East Texans line up at the polls. Record numbers are expected all across the country. KLTV 7's Danielle Capper has the story of those getting it done early and what it could mean.

"I'm here to vote early because they say the turnout is going to be tremendous on November 4th," said Donna Anderson.

Many braved the lines Monday across East Texas.

"I want to make sure my vote gets in there and gets counted, it's exciting to go vote. People have died for the right to vote and have died for us to vote," said Steven Stine.

"This is my first time to ever vote ever," said Melvin Massenburg. "I always thought that it wasn't going to make a difference anyways. But I had a change of thought."

"We didn't even open till 8. We had 30 people waiting to get in the building at 7 30 am," said Karen Chaney, the Smith County elections administrator.

Chaney says the number of registered voters are at an all time high, and for over 5,500 voters, it's their first time.

"We had to work 10 hour days to get all those voters in so they can get their card in the mail. The numbers are up. We have 130,000 registered voters in Smith County," said Chaney.

Karen says all cards have been put in the mail, if you haven't gotten it yet - be patient.

It's something you will need to bring when you head to the polls.

"We have a lot of voting machines, but we have to reserve a large number for election day," said Chaney.

"People wait in other countries for days at a time for the right to vote. An hour or two spent waiting to vote in this country is very little sacrifice to me," said Steven.

"For whatever reason people want to be involved this year," said Dr. Larry Carter.  

Dr. Carter, a political science lecturer at UT Tyler, says the number of early voters typically sends a message - these voters know who they want in that office.

"If you strongly support your candidate and you are confident that you are voting 2 weeks early doesn't make any difference at all," said Dr. Carter.

Dr. Carter suggests today set the tone for the entire election.

"Maybe it's because time are so tough that people feel like the only thing they can control is there vote. You know, I can't fix Wall Street. But I'm going to vote for the person, the president, win or lose, someone that offers me hope or some idea of how to get out of this."

As for any voting troubles, we received one minor report from Gregg County of a problem at a Kilgore location. Apparently a volunteer opened the program wrong, but it was fixed in just a few minutes, and there has been no reports of any major problems.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

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