Never, ever did I think I would see a day when I had to stand in a substantial line to vote early here in Jefferson County, Texas.
That would be the case though as I stood in a line of about 30 people this afternoon, a nice Friday afternoon that was more than a full week before the end of early voting. The voting itself didn’t take long despite my weariness from standing about 20 minutes on my messed-up knee. It doesn’t take long to vote a straight ticket.
The early voting turnout is a little bit amazing to me. There are no local races that have people’s knickers in a knot. A couple of justice of the peace races, a couple of county offices. So the crowd is really about the governor’s race. I don’t know who else is on the ballot besides Democratic challenger Bill White and Gov. Doofus Goodhair Perry.
All I know is a fair number of folks are showing up in my neck o’ the woods. As of the end of voting Thursday some 12,300 voters had cast early voting ballots at the 10 polling places and by mail, according to figures on County Clerk Carolyn Guidry’s Web site.
The busiest polling place by far has been Rogers Park Recreation Center, where I voted, on Beaumont’s West End. Almost 3,260 people had voted there by the end of Thursday.
How this plays for my favored candidate, Bill “The Bald Democrat” White, I couldn’t guess. This is a traditionally Yellow Dog Democrat area. But a fair amount of folks have caught that dreaded “Tea Party Fever.” Just an educated guess from someone six hours short of a Poly Sci degree but I think White will do well here in the county just as Obama did well. A lot hinges on the African-American turnout. Beaumont is a majority Black city. It would be hard to guess how the young vote will end up especially at Lamar University, it being traditionally more of a commuter-urban educational institution.
Even though my knee is giving me hell right now I was glad to see the unusually large turnout. Some of them may be pissed off and not favoring my candidates, but at least they aren’t in the streets rioting and fomenting a coup as the disaffected living in some other countries sometimes are wont to do. That’s something.