Early voting starts in Texas

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You have two hours left to vote in an election that is still 14 days away. Early voting started on Monday.

In Travis County 90 percent of those eligible to vote have registered. Election officials are pushing for you - to cast your ballot now - to avoid delays on Election Day.

Even before the polls opened Monday, voters stood wait outside of polling places. In Pflugerville, the voter line wrapped around the building. Phyllis Plummer says she waited two hours and it was worth it.

"Since I've been 18 I vote. I feel like every American should vote,” said Plummer.

Tom Cheshire traded his neighborhood polling place for a site in a different city with a five minute line.

"I think there's more people out here voting than I've seen since the current president was elected,” said Cheshire.

The numbers reflect his guess. In Travis County more than 725,000 people are registered to vote. That's 90 percent of those who can legally cast a ballot.

Travis County Clerk Dana Debeauvoir says 60 percent of voters usually show up early, but this year she's hoping for at least 70 percent.

"If 30,000 people come out to vote each day during the 12 days of early voting it really helps take the pressure off of election day and that last day of early voting,” said Debeauvoir.

To get voters fired up, the Travis County Democratic Party marched from the south congress bridge to the near the capitol building.

"We believe we can work hard and see people turn out hopefully and see Texas turning as close to blue as possible, but also electing democrats up and down the ballot. We believe we are building a stronger environment for our families as well as all of our citizens and residents that are here,” said Vincent Harding, Travis County Democratic Party chair.

They had star power on their side as Selma Hayek made a stop at the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters in Downtown Austin.

Back in Pflugerville, the local republican club and the Travis County Republican Party took advantage of the long line to talk with voters one last time.

"I think what's going on with the federal level a lot of the down ballot candidates tend to get forgotten and what we're trying to organize today is just get people out to make sure they support their local candidates because the local candidates are going to be the ones that impact us on a day to day basis,” said Kevin Pakenham, Travis County Republican Party.

Don't wait in line for hours! First, check out ivoteearly.com

Scroll down to the map. Each polling place will have a traffic signal icon with a green, yellow or red light indicating wait time. You can also view the number of voting booths. They key is to head to a polling place with 20 or 30 booths.

With a record number of people registered to vote in Texas, it could mean long lines at polling locations. County Clerks said if you already know who you are voting for, don't wait; get that ballot in during early voting.

It’s been a historic year in Texas with more than 15-million people registered to vote a million more people than in the 2012 election. Travis County clerks are also reporting a milestone in the county's history with more than 90% of eligible residents signing up to cast their ballot.

With a record number of people ready to vote, that could mean long wait times.

Dana Debeauvior is the Travis County Clerk, “Get out there and vote early. If we don't have 30,000 people vote every single day of early voting, then the pressure on the last day of early voting and election is going to be too much for the lines to be reasonable," she said.

And with the state's new Voter ID law in place, poll workers are also working through new changes. Something Debeauvior said is not complicated, but different if you don't have an ID.

“If you don't have your voter registration certificates the new one you just got. Then bring an official document of some kind. Government record, an envelope that has your name on it, a bank statement, your recent utility bill, bring it to the polls and we'll do everything we can legally to help make sure you can vote,” she said.

If need a ride to a polling place, you're in luck, many transportation services in Austin are providing free or discounted rides. Click here for more information.

Debeauvior said a time saver is for voters at the polls is to familiarize themselves with their ballot before going to the polls. “It's going to take the average voter seven minutes to vote a ballot. So, if you want to do yourself and your neighbors a favor, study it first, go online, print out a ballot, mark it up, study it, figure out your candidates before you get there so it will all go much more quickly,” she said.

Click here for more information on printing a sample of the specific ballot you'll be voting on so you can educate yourself. Debeauvior said if you're not sure on any candidate or issue, skip it, and go on to the next race.