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Polls open Monday; Early voting in election set to start

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Election Day is Nov. 6, but you might want to take advantage of early voting which begins next week.

Voters can begin marking their ballots Monday, Oct. 22 at four early voting locations in Wise County: the Elections Office, 200 S. Trinity St. in Decatur; Alvord City Hall, 215 W. Elm; the Boyd Community Center, 420 E. Morton Ave.; and the Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center, 1000 Thompson St.

Those polls will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each week day during the two-week period ending Friday, Nov. 2. On Tuesday, Oct. 23, and Tuesday, Oct. 30, polls will be open extended hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Early voting will also take place 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Early voting might be a good option for this year’s midterm election. Based on early indications, the Wise County Elections Office is predicting a strong turnout.

“Ballot by mail applications and new registrations are usually a good barometer of how the turnout is going to be,” Elections Administrator Sabra Srader said. “… I think we are going to have a big turnout, so we are going to put out the same amount of equipment we had for the presidential election year. I think this one is going to be just as busy.”

Srader said her office has received at least 300 new voter registration applications and more ballot-by-mail applications than usual.

People can vote at any of the four early voting locations. If they wait for election day, they will have to vote at their specific precinct location and could encounter lines to vote.

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election has now passed, but you still have options.

For instance, if you are registered in another Texas county and now live in Wise County, you can vote a limited ballot.

“That’s only during early voting, and only here at the elections office,” Srader said. “A limited ballot is voted on paper. Let’s say you are registered in Tarrant County and now you live here. The voter has two options: they can go to Tarrant to vote or come here to vote a limited ballot. That means you can still vote on all federal and state-wide races, and we mark out anything local.”

If you are not registered to vote at all, you’ll be asked to vote a provisional ballot.

“It may or may not count, but it does get them registered to vote here,” Srader said.

Many voters in Wise County use the straight-party voting option, but Srader said they need to remember that only marks your ballot in partisan races and not ballot items such as an alcohol proposition, ESD proposition, tier status (annexation) proposition, water supply proposition, bond election proposition and a school board election.

“The summary page will let you know you have missed selections there. Check your summary page closely,” she said.

For a sample ballot or information about voting in Wise County, visit votewise.org.

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