More locations, extended early voting and onsite precautions were in place as early voting began Tuesday for the Nov. 3 election.
Early Tuesday morning, a line of voters at the Courthouse Annex snaked down toward Banita Creek Hall. Sneeze guards, floor stickers and fresh pens for each voter are among the pandemic precautions, according to County Elections Administrator Todd Stallings.
During busy times, waiting outside might be necessary, he says, “because we don’t want to get the room too full of people at once — but I hope that won’t happen very often.
” Seven locations are open for early voting, thanks to a $54,000 grant to the county through the federal pandemic relief package.
Stallings said he expects a total turnout of up to 25,000 for the election. For those looking to keep their distance from others, days other than the first and last day of early voting are best, he advised.
The Texas Medical Association recommends that anyone who qualifies to vote by mail do so
. “For those over 65 years old or who have chronic illnesses, it would be preferable to stay at home and send off an application for a mail-in ballot,” association president Dr. Diana Fite said in a statement. “It’s certainly safer for these people to vote at home and mail their ballot than to venture out among crowds
.” The deadline for a mail-in ballot application is Friday, Oct. 23. Applications are available at nacvotes.com or by calling 936-560-7825.
For those voting in person, Fite recommends choosing less busy polling places and times.
“Wash hands or use sanitizer before and after voting, try to stay 6 feet from others and wear a mask,” she recommends.
Forms of photo ID that can be used for voting include a Texas driver’s license or ID card, Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS, Texas Handgun License, U.S. Military ID, U.S. Citizenship Certificate or passport.
For those without a photo ID, a document such as a U.S. birth certificate, paycheck, utility bill, bank statement or government check along with a voter registration certificate are acceptable. The races In addition to a the presidential race between incumbent Republican Donald J. Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are several federal, state and local elections. On the county level, Republican Jeff Davis, the Nacogdoches city attorney, and Democrat Noel Cooper, an attorney in private practice, are vying to replace retiring State District Judge Campbell Cox, who has been on the bench since 2001.
Some ballots will include races postponed from May due to the pandemic. Appleby voters will decide if businesses within the city may sell alcoholic beverages, while Garrison residents will decide two city council positions and five school board races.
Straight party voting has been eliminated, so voters need to mark their preferred candidate in each contest, and ballots will have contests on both the front and back.
Early voting locations Early voting days and times at the Courthouse Annex, 203 W. Main St., are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through this Friday, Oct. 16; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 17; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 19-3; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 24; noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 25; and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 26 through the final day on Oct. 30.
The other six early voting locations will be open on weekdays only from Tuesday through Oct. 30. The Chireno Community Center, 715 Main St., Chireno, will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cushing ISD, 1088 W. Bearkat Drive, Cushing, will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Garrison City Office, 330 S B Ave., Garrison, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 2508 Appleby Sand Road, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The SFA Student Center Commons Room, third floor, 222 Vista Drive, will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Woden ISD, 5263 FM 226, will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More information is available at NacVotes.com.