Early voting in Harris, Fort Bend and Waller counties brought record turnout for the 2018 midterm elections, but a few citizens—and local candidates fitting in some last minute handshakes—showed up at Katy-area libraries today to cast their vote.
Some of them shared why they voted and the climate around the races with Community Impact Newspaper reporters.
Fernando Mendoza was one of many morning voters at Cinco Ranch Branch Library on Election Day, Nov. 6. The Katy resident said he has been a regular voter since 2008, and the economy and immigration are two topics that he cared about for this election.
“It’s my citizen duty,” Fernando Mendoza said when asked why he was voting.
Other Katy voters at Cinco Ranch Branch Library, including Monica Coselli, expressed similar reasons for coming to the polls.
“I’m not a Republication or a Democrat; I’m an American,” Coselli said. “It’s our right to vote to support whatever side we’re supporting.”
Mendoza felt that the media, especially social media, was playing a part in the record turnout for early voting.
“There’s more division,” he said. “And social media has had an influence. You can see what your friends and family are saying.”
Tricia Krenek, a Republican running for Fort Bend County Court at Law 3, was also at Cinco Ranch Branch Library in the morning, hoping to gain some last-minute votes. She also noted that there appeared to be more discussion around this election than previous ones.
“The record turnout is a direct reflection of energized dialogue,” she said. “I’m excited that people are coming out.”
Katy resident Allison Ormond, 37, said this is the first time that a lot of her friends voted in a midterm election.
“I’ve been really happy with the way I’ve been seeing them saying they voted early and today,” she said in the mid-morning at the Katy Branch Library. “I’ve seen a lot of my friends saying—other than the presidential elections—saying, ‘I voted.’ I don’t know if … it’s spread out, and I have noticed a lot of people voting.”
Gloria Evans, a 71-year-old local resident, said in an email she voted early because she couldn’t wait to cast her vote to let politicians know how she felt about the state of politics.
Megan Menger had to drive twice to Cinco Ranch Branch Library to get her vote in. She recently moved to Katy from Minnesota and had to return home to retrieve her passport and a bill to verify her identity. But the effort was worth it, she said.
“I’m here to make sure that my vote counts,” Menger said. “People on both sides want their voices to be heard.”
Polling stations in Fort Bend and Waller counties as well as most of Harris County will be open until 7 p.m. Click here to see a list of polling locations in the Katy-area.