Early Voters Come Out in Texas

10-19-04 – AUSTIN (AP) - Many voters headed to the polls on Monday as early voting began for the November Second elections.

Among the early voters were the parents of the president.

Former President George HW Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush voted at a Houston community center a few miles from where they live. Mrs. Bush said after her session with the electronic ballot, "We love voting for our son."

Texans can vote early in person for two weeks until October 29th. Early votes can be cast at any early voting polling station in a county. On Election Day, voters must report to their assigned neighborhood precincts.

Early voting in Oklahoma begins October 29th and continues until Election Day.

Mail-in voting - sometimes called "absentee" - voting has already begun throughout the state. The deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot is October 26th.

In the 2000 presidential election, 39 percent of the 6.4 million votes cast in Texas were early votes.

Meanwhile, President Bush is stumping in Florida again Tuesday as he batters John Kerry on Iraq.

The president has another bus trip in the state -- his second in four days -- beginning this morning in St. Petersburg.

He's expected to continue the barrage he leveled yesterday, in which he accused the Democrat of laboring to weaken America's defenses and intelligence-gathering throughout his two decades in the Senate.

Bush also said Kerry's vacillation on the terror threat would endanger America and the world, while his "wrong war" attitude on Iraq would lead the nation to a major, costly defeat.

With two weeks to go before Election Day, John Kerry is set to attack the president's lack of fiscal discipline and his plans for Social Security.

After zig-zagging across Florida Monday, Kerry travels to Pennsylvania where his campaign says he will issue a tough indictment of the Bush record.

He's expected to stress how the president turned a huge surplus into a deficit and attack plans to privatize Social Security. Kerry will offer a plan to cut the deficit in half and protect Social Security.

Today, Kerry will be in the three top electoral vote prizes that analysts say are still up for grabs -- Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Those three states account for 68 electoral votes, more than a quarter of the 270 needed to be elected.