Posted on November 6, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Tuesday, Nov 6 at 10:36 PM
AUSTIN -- Election Day lines wrapped around polling centers across Central Texas.
“It took about 45 minutes. It was easy,” said Travis County voter Jefferson Burress. “I'm a new voter in Texas. There was a little bit of a learning curve, but it was actually a lot of fun.”
Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Burress was among the first of the voters to line up. During the first few hours of voting, lines at a number of polling locations stretched out to about a 45 minute wait.
“The wait was a little bit longer than I thought and the ballot was... there was a lot there, but overall it wasn't too bad. I did my homework and I kind of knew what I was getting into,” said Travis County voter Amber Corpuz.
There was a steady stream of voters at Howson Library in the Tarrytown neighborhood in West Austin. Even a man who says he can't vote came out to support his friends.
James Story just moved to Texas from Utah a few weeks ago. "I looked up online to see if there was one-day registration or same day, and it's not allowed here. You have to register 30 days in advance so, I missed it," Story said.
He said he came out with his friends so he could be a part of the process and to see what turnout is like in Texas.
Some people came out to vote a couple of times. They chose to not wait in line. However, one couple said they finally decided to wait it out. The wait was about an hour and 40 minutes.
Bjorn Park said he didn't mind waiting an hour and 45 minutes because this is an important presidential election year.
"For me it's all about the presidential race, and I think this is historically super significant for the country," Park said.
Voters at Howson said there are seven booths inside, and that that isn't enough given the long line.
At 3 p.m. there were about 60 people waiting in line. At 5 p.m. there were 54.
In Travis County elections officials opened up 191 different polling locations, including numerous schools, churches and grocery stores. The county also enacted open voting centers which operate similar to polls during early voting. Any registered voter is able to cast a ballot at any open polling location. In previous elections voters had to visit their specific precinct polling location to vote on Election Day.
The polls will remain open until 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Elections officials say as long as a voter is in line by 7 p.m., they will be allowed to cast a ballot.