WACO, TX — Jared Goldsmith is McLennan County's Elections Administrator.
"So it's been exciting to take over this new role," he said.
While he has years of experience working in elections, previously serving as the County's Assistant Election Administrator, Saturday will be his first election in the top role.
"It's been a privilege to continue to serve our voters here in McLennan County, and I look forward to continuing to have success here in our office."
The experience Goldsmith has will likely be hard to find in future elections administrations professionals. Having gone through the adverse changes caused by the increasing severity of the corona-virus pandemic during May 2020's local elections.
"Well, we didn't have an election in May of last year because the pandemic," Goldsmith explains. "So the Governor's order was to try to get all of the local entities to try to hold their election in November instead,which thankfully, we did."
To the intense 2020 Presidential Election last November.
"Here in McLennan County it was the highest turnout we ever had in percentage and actual number wise."
It's safe to say, Goldsmith has been through a lot.
"Yeah, last year was interesting," he explains. "And this year is a little more normal."
Saturday's local city and school elections across Central Texas mark a change in tune from last year's cancellation and November 2020 Presidential election, when national politics are dominating factor in attracting voters to the polls.
Local city and school elections typically attract less voters to the polls, said Goldsmith.
"So turnout for this election, unfortunately, isn't as high as we would probably like," he said.
Early voting ended Tuesday in the county-run elections, which drew more than a couple thousand people to the polls.
"It was a little over 2,500 people who voted in the contracting elections, those entities that contract with the County," Goldsmith said in describing early voting totals for the 11 entities contracting with McLennan County.
Polls will open on Election Day or Saturday, May 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for voters.
"One of the biggest issues is that we have we have entities that are contracting with McLennan County, and then we have four entities that are running their own election."
The four entities running their own elections are the City of Bellmead, City of Beverly Hills, China Spring ISD, and Mart ISD.
"Those who are running their own elections, those voters have to go to a specific polling location." Goldsmith explains.
The polling locations for those four entities can be found at the the McLennan County elections website.
"Now, the 11 entities that are contracting with McLennan County, their voters can go vote at any of the voting centers that we have opened on Saturday," Goldsmith explains.
Polls are open on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in local elections that will determine the future of some city governments and school districts. Goldsmith said it's important for voters to research ahead of time about what's on their ballot or where to vote, and it's also important to participate.
"Local elections are a great time for you to get out and have your voice heard, because there's not as many people who vote," Goldsmith explains in stressing the importance of Saturday's local elections. "And this is your taxpayer dollars right at work."
After a year full of unprecedented events from a pandemic to an intense November election, it appears neither have diminished the attitude of Goldsmith.
"I want people when they when the election is all said and done, they know this was done here accurately."
His enthusiasm towards the voting process is as clear as the smile on his face, and perhaps more important, determination toward serving the public just as apparent.
"That's exactly what we want," he explained. "We want the confidence of the voters on our side."
"There is a Photo ID law still in effect," " Goldsmith explains. "If you have a Texas driver's license, that's great. If you have a Texas ID card, that works, too. If you don't there are seven different acceptable forms of ID."
You can find information regarding what ID is acceptable and what's not here.
Remember to do research about what's on your ballot, and where to vote, as ballots and locations are different for voters across Central Texas.