SAN ANGELO, Texas — The early voting period for the November election will be a week longer this year, starting October 13. The Tom Green County election administrator says she is seeing more interest in the election than in past years with a lot of first-time voters and people who have not voted in a while.
“We are seeing a higher number of registrations this year and we are seeing a higher number of ballot by mail applications as well,” said Tom Green Co. Election Administrator, Vona Hudson.
According to Hudson, just under 40,000 Tom Green County voters cast their vote during the 2016 Presidential Election. She anticipates a similar or even higher voter turnout in November.
“We’re seeing a lot of first-time voters or a lot of voters that haven’t voted in a while. They’re doing the right thing making sure they’re registered, making sure they’re set up for ballots by mail,” explained Hudson.
The deadline to register to vote is October 5.
The deadline to apply for a ballot by mail is October 23, but Hudson recommends eligible voters apply sooner rather than later.
“The way you qualify is being 65 or older, disability, expected absence from county or confined in jail. I think it’s important with all that’s going on this year, that the sooner they get the application in, the better,” added Hudson.
The Texas governor extended the early voting period by a week this year, from October 13 to October 30. Early voting will take place at the Edd B. and Frances Frink Keyes Building (113 W. Beauregard Ave. 1st floor) during the following times:
- October 13-16 from 8:00am to 5:00pm
- October 19-23 from 8:00am to 5:00pm
- October 24 from 7:00am to 7:00pm
- October 25 from 12:30pm to 5:30pm
- October 26-30 from 7:00am to 7:00pm
The time in which marked mail-in ballots may be delivered in person to the elections office has also been expanded. Applications for ballots by mail will be sent out beginning mid September.
“I think the biggest change we’re seeing is the ability to hand it in other than on election day. That’ll provide more voters a sense of security to know that they have been turned in and will be counted. That will impact how we process ballots by mail to make sure we have results out as soon as possible on election day. The more we have to process, that will change the dynamics of how we normally do that,” continued Hudson.
According to Hudson, election workers will be taking all of the necessary precautions to keep voters safe while they vote during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If voters voted in the primary runoff, they saw what we’re doing. We’re asking that everyone wear a mask and that the voters that come in observe social distancing and wear a glove. We give them a glove when they check in and that way they go through that whole process wearing that glove. Poll workers have face masks, face shields, gloves, and everything we can give them to help them and stuff to sanitize with,” explained Hudson.
The Tom Green Co. Elections Office is looking for individuals who would like to volunteer to help at polling locations during early voting and on election day. Those interested can contact the Election Coordinator, Rudy Olivas, at 325-659-6541.
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