The Harris County Clerk’s Office reported record-breaking numbers on the first day of early voting for a midterm election. The first day of early voting (Oct. 22) in Harris County drew more than 63,000 voters to the polls,

smashing the 2010 record by more than 35,000 votes, officials said Monday. Add in the number of mail-in ballots, and that number easily surpasses 115,000 registered voters who cast early ballots.

The larger-than-normal voting numbers for a midterm election was somewhat anticipated, with more than 55,000 people in Harris County registering to vote between March and October, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office. Those numbers were reflective of the entire state, with more than 400,000 people registering to vote in the Lone Star State.

When the polls opened on Monday, elections judges were greeted with long lines, which stayed pretty constant in many Houston area communities.

In Kingwood, more than 2,000 voters showed up to cast their votes. The next day, there were even more, with 2,123. More than 1,250 Atascocita residents voted on Monday, and there were more there the next day as well; 1,381 to be exact. Almost 1,300 voted in Humble at the Octavia Fields Branch Library on Monday, and that number swelled to 1,545 on Tuesday.

“I couldn’t wait to vote,” said Jennifer Cook, a college student who lives in Clear Lake. “I’ve gotta vote for Beto.”

She cast her vote for Beto O’Rourke, mostly out of defiance of what she said are draconian Trump policies, and less out of anything she heard from O’Rourke or Sen. Ted Cruz. While the contentious senate race is driving many to vote, there are a number of important issues on the ballot in other communities.

In Houston, there’s the Proposition B initiative with firefighters demanding pay parity. In Montgomery County, voters are choosing a new county judge, and in Kingwood, Spring and Humble they are casting ballots for someone to replace the retiring Ted Poe for the District 2 Congressional seat.

In nearly every community there are school board elections, city council elections, or some form of bond election, and those issues are also important to a segment of the voting population.

“Our district is growing fast, and we need the right people on our school board,” said one Tomball voter who asked not to be named. “I’m voting for Cruz, but there are other important issues, too.”

Early voting continues through Nov. 2, so there’s plenty of time to cast your ballot.

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