From the inbox:
Below please find the link to the March 1 Primary Digital Toolkit. This Toolkit is a resource you can use to prepare for the upcoming Primary Election. Early Voting in Harris County begins, Monday, February 14th.
Using the toolkit gives you access to a vault of information you can use to stay informed about the upcoming election. In the kit you will find educational videos, one-page handouts, the Early Voting location poster, and much more.
The contents of the toolkit are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese. We ask that you use and share this information with your friends and neighbors. You can post the information to your social media pages.
If you have questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us directly!
That link is here and it contains graphics with voting information in multiple languages, fact sheets, voter ID info, and more. More useful for less experienced voters, I’d say, but plenty of things to share and refer to if you want to help make people aware of what’s happening. The usual interactive map of polling locations where you can also see wait times is here, and the PDF of all locations with hours of operation is here. There are ninety total early voting locations, so there’s surely one near where you live or work.
Here are three more thoughts about the primaries as we get this party started:
1. We now have clear confirmation that there will be fewer people voting by mail this primary, as I had speculated. It still remains to be seen how this breaks down by party, and if there’s any reason to believe that people who might have voted otherwise were unable to do so. We’ll get some data on that first question when the day one EV totals are posted. Look for that as soon as I can get to it.
2. As I’m sure you remember, the dominant story of last year’s primaries was the ridiculously long lines for Democratic voters on Primary Day. All I can say right now is that I hope we learned from that experience and have taken the proper steps to prevent or at least minimize such issues this time around. We can’t say we didn’t think that could happen any more. The potential increase in in-person voting, as a result of the apparent decrease of mail voting, needs to factor into this as well.
3. This will be the first big election with the new voting machines and the printers everyone has to use to generate the paper ballots that will be collected for the count. When I voted in the 2021 election, I was basically by myself at the early voting location, so the fact that there was just one printer available was not an issue. That will not be the case this time around, so I very much hope that each location has at least two printers, if not more, both to prevent bottlenecks and provide backup in the event of a technical problem. Again, this is something we should have been able to see coming, so if we screw it up it will look that much worse.
For what it’s worth, I’m less concerned about election night reporting. Last November was a debacle, though the reasons behind it may have been a one off. The December runoff and the January special election had results reported promptly, so we’ve seen things work well since then. If nothing else, if something does go wrong, I really hope that Isabel Longoria has learned the lesson about the need to communicate clearly about what is happening, why it is happening, and what everyone can expect as a result. Again, once was a mistake and twice would be a habit. Let’s not get into any bad habits.