Officials prepare for Election Day

Officials prepare for Election Day
Posted at 3:17 PM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:27-04

Election officials in Central Texas are busy preparing for Election Day, which is almost a month away.

Currently, in McLennan County, staff are currently testing the more than 400 voting machines, sending requested ballots by mail and continuing the voter registration process.   

Assistant Elections Administrator Jared Goldsmith said he has spent up to 10 hours at work some days working on election preparation. On Tuesdat morning, the daughter of McLennan County Elections Administrator Kathy Van Wolfe, Claire, was helping to check the voting machines.

"We are preparing the equipment. We have all of the information ready to be put on the equipment so we are putting that in as well. But mostly is manually getting everything set up, making sure everything is working pristine,” Goldsmith said.

Van Wolfe said in the county there are nearly 133,000 registered voters. She said even if all of them do not go to the polls, preparing for Election Day is still necessary.

"We are in the process of making sure we have our checklist done for the election because planning and preparation and organization is key to doing this. It's like any big event just with us we don't know how many people to expect to come," Van Wolfe said.

She recalls in the 2008 presidential election, having the highest turnout the county has seen in her 20 years as elections administrator.

Back then, the county had a 60 percent turnout and anticipates this November to have that percentage or higher.

She recommends voters to take advantage of early voting, which starts on Oct. 24. However, she said if people plan to vote on Election Day instead, they can anticipate long lines.

"I know a lot of people like to vote on Election Day because it's exciting to vote, that is their tradition. Again, just be patient, you may have to wait in a little bit of a line,” Van Wolfe said.

She reminds voters if they are in line at 7 p.m., they will still be able to vote.

Voters will see additional staff and equipment than in the primary elections. In addition, to avoid any voter receiving an incorrect ballot, like some did in the primaries in McLennan County, the ballot styles have been changed to match precinct numbers. Furthermore, election workers will not manually select the access code in the judge’s booth but will use scanners instead.

This election, voters can use seven forms of photo IDs. However, if a registered voter can’t obtain any of those, they have to execute a reasonable impediment declaration and present other forms of identification.    

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 11. The last day to apply to vote by mail is Oct. 28. 

To view sample ballots or obtain more information about elections in McLennan County, click here. For Bell County, click here. For Coryell County, click here

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