With Election Day having arrived, the Toyota Center, which is the Houston Rockets’ arena, will serve as the lone drive-thru voting site in Houston’s Harris County.
The 2020 presidential election which pits current president Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence against former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris shapes to be one of the more important elections in recent history. The Houston Rockets have done their part to emphasize the importance of voting, as they’ve opened their arena as a voting site, joining other athletic organizations across the city of Houston.
We’ve seen record numbers head to the polls for the early voting period, as over 97 million Americans have already cast their votes, providing further proof of the importance of the election. Houston has already seen a record-breaking 9.7 million early votes, which is a stark comparison to the 2016 election between Trump and former Democratic-elect Hilary Clinton.
Harris County, which is Houston’s predominant county and the fourth-largest county in the country, faced recent uncertainty, as the Texas Republicans recently questioned a single drive-thru voting location in Harris County, which put 127,000 votes in limbo. There has been an insurmountable amount of speculation regarding why the votes were ever in doubt, which became a national talking point on Sunday and Monday, prior to an official ruling being made on the matter.
Houston Rockets’ Toyota Center to serve as lone drive-thru voting site
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the votes will still be counted, but that nine of ten drive-thru voting sites in the county will be closed on Election Day, with the lone exception being the Toyota Center, which is the home of the Houston Rockets. The decision was made by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who ruled that the tents that house the majority of the drive-thru voting centers do not qualify as buildings, which is required for polling places on Election Day.
It’s within the realm of possibility that Hanen’s decision could be overturned by Harris County clerk Chris Hollins, as the ruling was appealed by the Fifth Court Circuit of Appeals shortly after it was issued.
But for now, voters who intend to cast their votes on Tuesday will have to make their way to the Houston Rockets’ arena, if they intend to cast their votes via drive-thru.