Big Texas turnout on first day of early voting

UNDATED (AP) - Record numbers of Texans packed the polling locations from Houston to El Paso today to start early voting for the Nov. 4 election.

Early voting continues through Oct. 31.

In Travis County, election officials reported to authorities that a man dressed in business attire and carrying a clipboard tried to impersonate an election official at a polling place in a grocery store and give out incorrect information about straight ticket voting procedures for Democratic candidates.

County Clerk Dana DeBeavoir said the unidentified man fled in a car with John McCain bumper stickers on it.

The Texas Secretary of State's office says totals from the 15 largest counties wouldn't be available until tomorrow. But whatever the number, it figures to surpass the nearly 190,000 first-day early voters in the 2004 election.

Here's more:

-- Harris County finished the day with a record 39,201 early
voters
-- an 88 percent increase from the first-day turnout in
2004.
-- Dallas County had 34,421 voters.
-- Travis County had 24,207 voters.
-- Many still can't return to Galveston County because Hurricane
Ike on Sept. 13 wiped out their homes. But more than 4,000 of them voted early -- a record despite some parts of Galvston County still so devastated that early voting reminders were made at shelters.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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