Early voting opens to long lines at Lion's Field in San Antonio
Most early voters have mind already made up
SAN ANTONIO - Early voting started at 8 a.m. on Monday and there were already about 20 people waiting for the doors to open at Lion's Field.
That turnout surprised some who said they always vote early.
"I was encouraged. I was excited to see so many people," Janet Holliday said. "The candidates work so hard, and I just want to be in the first day (and in the) first line."
Joseph Gutierrez said he always votes early and he's never had so much company on the first day.
But he said he understands why so many people already feel a sense of urgency.
"It's just such an important election for everybody. I mean, which way is our country going to go, you know? That's what it amounts to," Gutierrez said.
Even with the last presidential debate scheduled for 8 p.m. on Monday, voters said they already had their mind made up.
"I'm an ex-librarian, so I read a lot, and I think debates are a lot of performance," Barbara Palcewski said.
She said she didn't want to wait longer to vote because the lines will probably just get longer.
"I think people want to come out and vote and get it over and not stand in line," she said. "It might be raining on Nov. 6."
Down-ballot races still hold surprises
Elsewhere in Texas, there isn't expected to be much suspense in the votes for president and U.S. Senate. Republicans Mitt Romney and Ted Cruz are heavily favored to win the state. But important contests abound down the ballot.
A huge swath of the state stretching from San Antonio to just outside El Paso will decide an important contest for U.S. House. Republican U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco is trying to hold onto his seat against Democratic state Rep. Pete Gallego.
Voters in Bexar County will weigh in on a hotly-contested race for sheriff. Democratic incumbent Amadeo Ortiz is facing a stiff challenge from Republican Susan Pamerleau.
South of Houston, voters are choosing a successor to U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.
An all-time high of 13.64 million Texans are registered to vote.
Copyright 2012 by KSAT.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.