Early voting polls drawing throngs of local residents
CHEROKEE COUNTY – A number of county residents are exercising their right to vote early, with throngs of people going to one of three sites in Cherokee County to cast their ballot, officials said.
“It’s been busy,” said County Elections Administrator Shannon Cornelius.
As of noon Tuesday, the Cherokeean Herald’s press deadline, a total of 6,759 people voted in person, and at least 1,900 have requested mail ballots from her office, Cornelius said.
“That’s 900 more than I’m used to sending,” she said, noting that while presidential election years tend to draw more voters, a national pandemic might be adding to those numbers, as people ensure themselves ample time to vote.
Following state election guidelines, election departments across the country also must follow health protocols to protect the public from the COVID-19 virus.
“We cannot, by law, force people to wear masks, though it is recommended,” she said. “But, most everybody I see has a mask on, so the public has been protecting itself on its own.”
The department is having a bit of fun reminding people to be vigilant about the guidelines: Three early voting sites – at the Cherokee County Election Department, 138 W. 5th St. in Rusk, The River Church at 595 Marcus St. in Alto and at the Norman Activity Center, 526 E. Commerce St. in Jacksonville – have sanitation stations set up inside, equipped with hand sanitizing gel and a humorous sign reminding people, “don’t be a dirty voter!!!”
Cornelius said the Rusk polling site is the county’s designated drop-off site for those delivering by hand their marked mail ballots.
Meanwhile, registered Cherokee County voters can vote early at any of the three sites, by either electronic or paper ballot.
Hours for the remainder of the week are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 21-23, while weekend hours are Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25. 1 to 5 p.m.
Next week is the final week of the early voting period, with polls open Monday, Oct. 26, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 27, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 28-30, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
“I’m hoping that everybody will consider voting early, and that election day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) won’t be as hectic as early voting – or regular election days – has been,” Cornelius said.
Identification is required when voting in person, with a list of acceptable forms of photo ID found at www.votetexas.gov/register-to-
For more information, visit www.co.cherokee.tx.us/ips/cms/
Updated information also may be found on the department's Facebook page, “Cherokee County Elections Dept.”
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