The First Ballots on Proposition 1 Cast Today as Early Voting Opens Across HoustonBy Megan Clayton • October 19, 2015 • 2:55 pm
Today marks the start of early voting in Houston. With polls opening at 8AM, the first ballots on Proposition 1—the local ballot initiative to decide whether to uphold Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO)—are already cast.
Last Saturday, Houston Unites hosted a Get Out the Early Vote event and met with great response from local community members who rallied and canvassed to educate people about the campaign to vote Yes on Proposition 1.
Data shows that the number of people who turn out to vote early during this off-year election will have significant bearing on whether HERO is upheld or repealed.
The equal rights ordinance has garnered vocal support from a noteworthy business coalition—representing hundreds of thousands of hardworking Houstonians—as well as leaders of faith, veterans, and prominent organizations like the NAACP Houston Branch, the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and The Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, which represent the racial and ethnic diversity of Houston’s communities.
The sheer breadth and diversity of voices that have united in support of HERO comes as no surprise given the number of different classes that are protected under the ordinance. Protected classes include race, gender, family and military status, sexual orientation and gender identity—among 8 others. If the equal rights ordinance is repealed, Houstonians will have no local tool for dealing with discrimination in employment, housing and public services. The only alternative is to file a federal case, which is both costly and time-consuming.
There are a total of 41 polling locations servicing the greater Houston area. Early voting will run for eleven days starting at 7AM today, October 19th through 7PM on Friday, October 30th.