Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Under the wire

Dr. Jim Bob Parker, an orthopedic surgeon, was operating in the voter booth at Austin Middle School virtually alone. He finished voting at 6:59 p.m., one of many around the city who got in just under the 7 p.m. closing time of the polls.

It was by design.

"It was to avoid the lines," he said. "Everybody I talked to was going to vote before work or at noon on their lunch hour, so I decided to wait until the end."

Maybe voting habits are hard to break too.

"When I was in medical training in Houston, I always voted at the last minute," he said. "That seemed to be about the only time I had."

Parker, having already gone home and changed clothes, said he lives about two miles from Austin. Were you worried an extra stoplight or an accident could be a fatal delay?

"About three blocks away I knew I' d make it," he said.

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