Voting

Ericka Feggett and Janice Easley leave the Stamper Park Resource Center in Longview in March 2020 after voting in the primary elections.

Elections administrators in Gregg and Smith counties say turnout for the first week of early voting for November elections was slow — as expected.

Texans will decide eight proposed amendments to the state Constitution on Nov. 2.

Jennifer Briggs, Gregg County elections administrator, said Friday morning that 436 in-person votes had been cast since Monday.

For constitutional amendment elections, a 2% to 3% voter turnout is typical in Gregg County, she added.

Smith County Elections Administrator Michelle Allcon said Friday that the low number of ballots cast, while not surprising, is still disappointing. She said Friday morning that 431 in-person votes had been cast since Monday.

Turnout for the 2017 election in Smith County was around 6,000 votes, she said. Allcon said she was hoping to see around 20,000 or more ballots cast this year.

“Sometimes people forget about the odd number year elections,” Allcon said. “They remember about the even number because we have the primaries and the general election.”

Briggs said it’s important to cast a ballot this year because, “Those few people who come out and vote are making a decision for the entire state of Texas.”

“Every election is important, and people need to get out and vote to make sure their voices are heard,” Allcon said. “For this one, it’s on constitutional amendments. I mean, it changes what’s in the Texas Constitution, so it is a very important election.”

Smith County also has a $45 million bond referendum for road and bridge projects on the November ballot.

“Not only are the constitutional amendments on the election, there’s a county wide road and bridge bond on the ballot,” Allcon said. “So if people are either for or against this bond passing, they really need to get out and vote either for or against it and the constitutional amendments.”

Kilgore ISD residents in Gregg County will decide on two bond packages: a $109 million bond for school district facilities and a $4 million bond for work at R.E. St. John Stadium.

Early voting is set to end Oct. 28, and Election Day is Nov. 2.

Smith County will have 20 locations open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. For voting locations, times and more information in Smith County, go to www.smith-county.com/government/departments/elections/current-election-information .

Gregg County will have 18 locations open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. For voting locations, times and more information in Gregg County, go to greggcounty votes.com .

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