The stop was part of Mrs. Andrade's statewide tour to stress the ease and convenience of voting early and the importance of voter participation.
“We're traveling the state to remind voters we are in the middle of early voting,” she said. “We want to make sure everyone knows you can stop at any polling location and vote.”
Mrs. Andrade also wanted to stress that voters were not required to show identification cards prior to voting. Senate Bill 14, which would have required photo identification before casting ballots passed but was not applied during this election because of legal challenges.
“No photo ID will be required,” she said.
Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson said there was some confusion among voters regarding the requirements. Instances have been limited, she said, but emphasized voters can go to polls without IDs as they have in the past.
Other forms of identification allowed include current utility bills, official government mail addressed to the voter and passports.
Mrs. Nelson said early turnout slowed Monday and Tuesday. She said voters visited polls Saturday and Sunday in unusually high numbers and said the slowdown could be a result of the weekend turnout.
Early voting numbers have exceeded 2008 totals at this point in the 12-day period. Tuesday's total reached ??? compared to 38,448 by the final Tuesday in 2008.
Mrs. Nelson has said she expects this election to eclipse prior turnout totals.
Mrs. Andrade suggested voters visit VoteTexas.com, her office's website with all the information voters need to know.
The Secretary of State's Office is using every medium, including television, print and social networking, to reach potential voters and increase turnout, she said.
Mrs. Andrade said she hopes the information available and the interest in national, state and local election will increase participation in this election.
“This is an important election. We have the presidential, the race for U.S. Senate, the Railroad Commission, every (state) House and Senate seat and the local candidates,” she said. “This is the most important privilege we have.”
A line of early voters stretched down the hallway inside the election office location as Mrs. Andrade continued her tour. One emphasis of early voting in the past is that voters could avoid long lines, she said.
John Springer, of Tyler, said he typically visits his precinct polling location as soon as it opens at 7 a.m. on Election Day. This year he will be traveling on Nov. 6 and decided to cast an early ballot.
“This line was longer than I deal with on Election Day, but it moved quick,” he said.