NEWS HEADLINES

Election Day is Tuesday; Voter turnout surges to midterm record

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, November 3, 2018
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More than a third of registered voters in Wise County cast early ballots for Tuesday’s election over the past two weeks.

For the other two-thirds of you, you’ve got 12 hours left to make your mark.

Election Day voting is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at 25 precincts around the county (see the list on page 5A to find your voting location).

Unlike early voting, which allowed you to vote at any of four voting locations, voting on Election Day is precinct based, meaning you will have to vote in your assigned precinct.

Wise County Elections Administrator Sabra Srader said she has been impressed with the number of people who have turned out to vote.

“As of Monday night, it was already at 27 percent voter turnout,” Srader said. “Some elections you’re lucky to get 27 percent total.”

That percentage increased to 32.7 percent as of Thursday with one more day of early voting left to go.

By the time polls closed on Friday, 15,157 people had voted early in person. The only year that has seen more early votes cast was the 2016 presidential election when 16,633 people voted early.

Large voter turnout is expected in presidential election years, but the numbers usually drop for midterm elections.

That wasn’t the case this year.

In the 2014 midterm election, nearly 5,000 early votes were cast, representing about 13 percent of registered voters. At the time, that was the most early votes ever for a midterm election.

This year, that number was eclipsed by the third day of early voting.

In fact, the total number of votes – early voting and Election Day voting combined – in the 2014 midterm election was 12,751. We’ve already eclipsed that number even before Election Day.

With voter interest as high as it’s ever been, every available voting machine will be at polling locations Tuesday, Srader said.

“Hopefully everybody is voting early, but on Election Day we should still be fine. We’ll have plenty of equipment out there and plenty of workers,” she said.

The local elections office has also seen a record number of limited ballots cast. Those ballots are usually cast by someone who has moved to the county but has not registered to vote in Wise County. In that case, they can vote in a limited number of races.

“We’ve had over 100 limited ballots. That’s more than we had in the presidential election,” Srader said.

The return on mail-in ballots has also been quite strong in this election with about a 90 percent return rate, she said.

The ballot includes contested races for U.S. senator, U.S. representative, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller of public accounts, land commissioner, agriculture commissioner, railroad commissioner, three places on the state supreme court, presiding judge of the court of criminal appeals, two places for judges on the court of criminal appeals, state senator and Place 5 justice on the second court of appeals district.

Local races that are not contested include state representative, 271st District judge, county judge, county court at law No. 1 judge, district clerk, county clerk, county treasurer, Precinct 2 county commissioner, Precinct 4 county commissioner, all four justices of the peace precincts and Precinct 3 constable.

There are also a number of local non-partisan issues including:

  • a county-wide proposition to change Wise County from a Tier 1 status to a Tier 2 status, affecting the ability of local municipalities to involuntarily annex land.
  • a proposition for voters in the Boonsville and Balsora areas for the creation of Wise County Emergency Services District No. 2 with the ability to levy a tax.
  • a proposition for Aurora residents for the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages including mixed beverages.
  • a proposition for Decatur residents in the Wise County Water Supply District to expand the boundaries of the district to include land recently annexed into the city.
  • a proposition for Rhome residents on the issuance of $2.75 million general obligation bonds for constructing, improving and extending the city’s water and sewer system.
  • a school board election for the Slidell Independent School District which includes a contested race for Place 4.

For a sample ballot or information about voting in Wise County, go to votewise.org. To learn about the candidates in state-wide races, check out the League of Women Voters guide, wcmess.com/votersguide. An E-edition of the Wise County Messenger will be available Tuesday night with complete coverage of the election results at wcmessenger.com.

WHERE TO VOTE

Tuesday’s polling locations are listed below. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

PRECINCT 1
Decatur City Hall, 201 E. Walnut, Decatur

PRECINCT 2
Ag Extension Building, 206 S. State, Decatur

PRECINCT 3
First Baptist Church, corner of Farm Road 455 and Main, Slidell

PRECINCT 4
Masonic Lodge, first floor, 147 CR 2740, Greenwood

PRECINCT 5
East Wise Fire Hall, 107 CR 4421, Blewett

PRECINCT 6
New Fairview City Hall, 999 Illinois Ln., New Fairview

PRECINCT 7
Assumption Catholic Church, 1305 S. Deer Park, Decatur

PRECINCT 8
Assumption Catholic Church, 1305 S. Deer Park, Decatur

PRECINCT 9
Alvord City Hall, 215 W. Elm, Alvord

PRECINCT 10
Victory Baptist Church, 4346 N. Texas 101, Sunset

PRECINCT 11
Crafton Baptist Church, fellowship hall, 2590 FM 2127, Crafton

PRECINCT 12
Chico Public Library, 106 W. Jacksboro, Chico

PRECINCT 13
Bridgeport High School, One Maroon Drive, Bridgeport

PRECINCT 14
Lions Hall, 1107 8th Street, Bridgeport

PRECINCT 15
Norma Coble Civic Center, 51 Runaway Bay Dr., Runaway Bay

PRECINCT 16
Boonsville Community Center, west on Farm Road 920 off CR 3743, Boonsville

PRECINCT 17
Paradise First United Methodist Church, activity center, 301 S. Oak, Paradise

PRECINCT 18
Bridgeport Community Center, 1102 Lawdwin, Bridgeport

PRECINCT 19
Lake Bridgeport Fire Hall, 301 S. Main St., Lake Bridgeport

PRECINCT 20
Cottondale Community Chapel, 161 CR 3571 off Farm Road 2123, Cottondale

PRECINCT 22
Ag Extension Building, 206 S. State, Decatur

PRECINCT 23
Boyd Community Center, 420 E. Morton Ave., Boyd

PRECINCT 24
Newark Fire Hall, 406 Hudson St., Newark

PRECINCT 25
Boyd Community Center, 420 E. Morton Ave., Boyd

PRECINCT 27
Boyd Community Center, 420 E. Morton Ave., Boyd

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