Early voting to begin, deciding key races for Houston City Council

The City of Houston will get to pick some new leaders after several races earlier this month were forced to a runoff.

Early voting to begin, deciding key races for Houston City Council

HOUSTON — Early voting begins in Harris County this week.

The City of Houston will get new leaders after several races earlier this month were forced to a runoff.

“I think the general election told us something and I think the runoff will tell us something else, which is that there’s just not a lot of interest in this election,” Bob Stein, political science professor at Rice University shares his prediction for the Houston mayor’s race.

“[John] Whitmire seems to have the comparative advantage, he’s put together a very broad coalition of mostly Democrats and Republicans. We don’t have a partisan race here but people know sort of who’s on that ballot,” Stein said.

Multiple seats on the Houston City Council are headed to a runoff. City Council District G will feature a runoff between incumbent Mary Nan Huffman and Tony Buzbee, who defended Attorney General Ken Paxton during his impeachment trial.

“[Buzbee is] a name that should be familiar to some voters and he had a run for mayor on more than one occasion … that might be an interesting race,” Stein said.

Stein also says the Houston Controller’s Race and At-Large positions may be much harder to figure out.

Other races around Harris County include Bellaire mayor and Baytown city council seats.

Election day will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9, but a weekend at the polls isn’t typically where people spend time, Stein said.

“Many years ago I was asked to do a study on weekend voting, and the short answer is no. In fact, we saw a slightly lower turnout rate in elections that occurred on Saturday,” Stein said.

Houstonians will have 10 days to vote by mail or in person and make their voice heard.

Vote centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day except Sunday, Dec. 3, from noon to 7 p.m. The Harris County Clerk’s Office says 41 vote centers will be open during early voting and 450 centers will be open on Election Day.

You can view our voter guide to get more details on how you can vote, find polling locations and what’s on your ballot.

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