ELECTION DAY UPDATE (12:15 p.m.) - Voters trickle in to West End sites
The anticipated flood of voters was more like a trickle at many of the polling places Tuesday morning on Beaumont's West End.
Throughout mid-morning, lone voters came and went every few minutes at Vincent Middle School, Caldwood Elementary School and the Beaumont Independent School District Administration Building.
"We haven't had any lines, but it has been steady," election clerk Gilbert Garza said of the turnout at Caldwood. "There have been no problems, it's been going very smoothly."
Beaumont's residential West End has been a Republican stronghold in recent elections, and several voters questioned confirmed that trend.
A couple leaving the polls at Caldwood, who did not give their name, told the Record they had voted a straight Republican ticket.
"The tax issue made up my mind to vote for McCain," the man, who is in his 60s and employed as a manager, said. "And we just don't like hearing 'share the wealth' from Obama. We don't like hearing that at all."
"I will just say it, I just don't like Obama or his policies," the woman, a housewife, said. "I don't trust him."
The couple said they had not paid much attention to the down-ballot races, such as the seats on the Texas Supreme Court.
"I don't know much about them," the man said. "I guess that's not good."
Stephen Hecht, a 36-year-old beer salesman, said he also voted a straight Republican ticket.
"I'm pretty conservative," Hecht said. "I really just didn't agree with Obama's viewpoints."
Hecht said that while he voted a straight ticket, it was after considering the candidates in each race including the judicial positions.
"I looked at each candidate and their platform," Hecht said.
Garza said the election workers are gearing up for crowds after 5 p.m. when many voters get off work.
See for Jefferson County Precinct Voting Locations for polling places.