Harris County has seen record-breaking numbers in regards to early voting and on Thursday (October 29), Bun B and The Suffers are taking part in a 24-Hour Voting Kick-Off Concert at NRG Park. The Houston musicians are partnering with MOVE Texas, an organization dedicated to encouraging and galvanizing the youth vote.
“For the past year, MOVE Texas has worked at the intersection of culture and civic life to empower a new generation of Texas voters,” Charlie Bonner, communications director for MOVE Texas said. “The historic youth voter turnout we’re seeing across Texas is a direct result of the years of work to change the culture of voting in the Lone Star State.”
There are eight 24-hour polling locations in the Harris County this year and voter turnout has shattered all expectations and records. In Texas alone, there have been an estimated 8.5 million votes cast for the 2020 election. For context, 8.9 million Texans voted in the 2016 election.
“Today is the day polls will be open in Houston for 24 hours,” Bun told Fox 26. “Of course the main and only ballot box drop off location is at NRG Park. So Charlie and MOVE Texas reached out to me to see if I wanted to do something special for this day in Harris County. So they came up with the idea of hosting a Drive-In concert. I thought that was a brilliant gesture.”
Voters will be able to cast their ballots at the drive-thru polling location at NRG Park up until the concert which begins at 10 p.m. After the concert is over, they can once more resume to cast their ballot at the in-person polling location. According to Raven Douglas, MOVE’s Political Director, it took many hands to make this work.
“I will honestly say that it took a lot of people coming together to make this happen,” Douglas said. “We have some really great partners, including Commissioner Ellis’s office and Precinct One, OMG WTF, and a number of different people who have really been helpful in making this come to life tonight.”
In Texas, among the youth, early voting has become paramount. In 2016, according to Douglas, about 160,000 young voters under the age of 30 had cast a ballot up to this point of early voting. In 2020, almost 800,000 young people who have already voted in Texas. Douglas herself, plans to vote after the concert.
“I think what we’re seeing more so is that the voter suppression tactics that we’re saying that we have seen, are really stemming from the States, quite frankly,” Douglas says in regards to voter suppression and how it has been circumvented in some areas to allow people to vote. “The commissioner county clerk’s office has done a really great job here in Harris County, I think they’re leading across the state in ways to increase voter accessibility at the county level.”
She continued, “So you know, what we’re seeing is 122 early voting sites, over 800 Election Day sites, they’re piloting piloted Drive, drive-thru locations as well as 24-hour polling locations. And they’ve also sent all registered voters over the age of 65 million ballots. And so I think what we’re seeing is this increases with effort to increase voter accessibility and make it easier for folks to vote is actually working. And I think that’s why we’re seeing numbers so high here in Harris County.”
You can check out the MOVE Texas Drive-In concert tonight at NRG.