MARSHALL, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Many turned out to cast their ballots in East Texas on the first day of early voting in the state.
Early voting in Texas began Tuesday, October 13 and will continue through October 30.
Some said they waited in line for hours to vote on Tuesday.
“I couldn’t wait to vote. I want to get my vote down,” said Harrison County resident Dana Doan.
Fellow Harrison County resident Gail Hall also showed up to vote early on Tuesday, and she believes she will be among many who will cast their ballots before November 3.
“I think the lines are going to get even longer. I think this is the year everyone is going to vote.”
Lines formed early in Bowie County on Tuesday before the polls opened, as well.
Election officials said the extra-long wait times are due to strict COVID-19 procedures. This includes wearing a mask and remaining six-feet apart. There are also fewer voting stations inside.
“I think it’s best to go ahead and do it now. It’s something that you stand for and bring my girls to show them it’s positive. It’s a positive thing and they need to vote early.”
Despite the long wait, one mother said she brought her 19-year-old twin daughters to vote for the first time.
“I think it’s best to go ahead and do it now. It’s something that you stand for and bring my girls to show them it’s positive. It’s a positive thing and they need to vote early,” said Tremalyn Smith.
“I served twenty years in the Marine Corps and there were a lot of times I didn’t know if my vote counted,” said voter Kelly Baker. “So, when it’s early I want to come out and get it at the first opportunity. I don’t want to wait until the last day.”
There are many ways to vote in the election. Mall-in ballots, in-person, and curbside voting are available for people with disabilities. Appointments are not required. Just pull up and they’ll bring your ballot to you. You must have a valid ID or voter registration card.
“There was a line here at 6:30 this morning to open the building. So we are going to have three weeks of early voting. I don’t what’s so concerning to people that they just must get out this first day,” said elections administrator Donald Robinette.
“This election is too important to sit at home and not get out and vote early,” said Harrison County early voter Steve Morris.” I mean why not get out and vote right now if you’re able to vote?”