Early voting begins for November general elections
Photo by Jo Anne Embleton A local resident checks in with an election team at the Cherokee County Elections Department in Rusk, one of many folks nationwide casting ballots for the Nov. 3 general election during the Oct. 13-30 early voting period.
Polls opened 7 a.m. Tuesday in Cherokee County to allow residents to cast their ballot early for a Nov. 3 general election.
County Election Administrator Shannon Cornelius reminded residents to bring identification with them to the polls, which are open through Oct. 30 for the early voting period.
As in years past, Cherokee County residents can vote at one of three sites during this period: At the Cherokee County Election Department, 138 W. 5th St. in Rusk; The River Church at 595 Marcus St. in Alto; or at the Norman Activity Center, 526 E. Commerce St. in Jacksonville.
Gov. Greg Abbott recently issued a proclamation enhancing ballot security protocols by having a single location designated as the drop-off site for in-person delivery of marked mail ballots for the Nov. 3 election. Locally, that site has been identified as the county election department in Rusk, Cornelius said.
“The State of Texas has a duty to voters to maintain the integrity of our election,” Abbot said. “As we work to preserve Texans’ ability to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take extra care to strengthen ballot security protocols throughout the state. These enhanced security protocols will ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting.”
Eligible Cherokee County voters can cast their ballots during the following hours at any of the three sites. Hours are:
• Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 14-16: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
• Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17-18: Polls closed
• Monday through Friday, Oct. 19-23: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
• Saturday, Oct. 24: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 25: 1 to 5 p.m.
• Monday, Oct. 26: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Tuesday, Oct. 27: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 28-30: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
In addition to a presidential election this year, a number of country races are on the Nov. 3 general election ballot, for seats at the state, county and local level.
In Cherokee County, races are uncontested for positions of 2nd Judicial District Judge and District Attorney; for positions of county attorney, sheriff, tax assessor-collector, Precinct 1 Commissioner, Precinct 3 Commissioner and constables’ seats for all four precincts.
Additionally, schools and municipalities across the state will hold run-off and special elections due to a delay created by a national pandemic.
Contested area races initially scheduled for May 2 but are now on the November ballot include:
RUSK ISD – Candidates Martin Pepin and Teresa Phifer are vying for a three-year seat on the local school board, while Tara Nicole Tatarski and Oliver G. Sturns seek a trustee seat for a two-year unexpired term.
ALTO – Incumbents Carey Palmer and E.L. Thacker have filed for two spots on the city council, as have candidates Monty Collins, Sharon Carter and Shamonica Johnson. The seats are at-large positions.
BULLARD ISD – Three seats are up for election, each with a three-year term. Candidates for the Place 1 seat include incumbent Tony Johnson, Jason Acker and Cory Santos; Place 2 candidates are incumbent Brian Vestal and Brent Bishop, who presently serves as the Place 3 trustee; Place 3 candidates are Shane Hagen and Jason Stainback.
JACKSONVILLE – Mindy Folden Gellock and Tim L. Mullenax seek the District 2 seat on the Jacksonville City Council.
WELLS ISD – One unexpired term and two full-term seats are up for election. Incumbents T. Wayne Montes and Donnie Carver have filed for the full-term positions, as have Phillip Jones and Kelly Collins. Incumbent Steven Monday has filed for the unexpired term.
WELLS – Four seats are up for election on the Wells City Council. Tony McNight has filed for the mayor's seat, a two-year term, while incumbents Robert Kalka and Billie Petty have filed for two-year council terms. Eva Alexander has filed for a one-year council term, and Darlene Kirkland has filed for a council term at large.
CUNEY – Three seats are up for election, each has a two-year term. Mayoral candidates are Grace Beal and Marchell Roberts; the Place 2 race has attracted Dianne Reed, the incumbent, Vivian Earl and Marilyn McClelland as candidates. Council Place 4 incumbent Elizabeth Jenkins is running unopposed
TROUP ISD – The district's $22.6 million bond package proposes renovation for additional seating in the high school/middle school cafeteria; provides a new Career and Technology building featuring eight new classrooms and a new shop area; a new high school gymnasium; renovations at the elementary campus by joining together different buildings, with a new Pre-K through 2 featuring office space, a library, a cafeteria and a defined school entry.
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