Liberty County voters turned out in high numbers for early voting in the run-off election that will decide the candidates in a number of key races. Election Day is Tuesday, July 14.
“Six percent of all registered voters in Liberty County voted early for this run-off election,” said Klint Bush, elections administrator for Liberty County. “I think we may have beat some records for early voting. We will see how people turn out tomorrow on Election Day.”
Bush said early voting may be high because some voters were confused that the presidential election was not on the ballot.
“People seem to be misunderstanding that this election is not the presidential election. With the media blasting in their ears every day about the presidential election, it’s easy to understand why they would think that,” Bush said.
Another common misconception among voters regards the party in which they can vote in a run-off election. Voters must cast their ballots in the run-off election of the party in which they voted in the March primary, Bush said. Voting across party lines in run-off elections is prohibited because it could sway an election in favor of one party or a particular candidate.
The November general election is open to all voters, regardless of party.
“By November, the parties will have already picked their candidates,” Bush said.
Here’s what to expect at the polls on Tuesday
With the COVID-19 pandemic still a major concern, certain protocols have been put in place to limit the spread of germs among voters casting their ballots.
“Voting at Liberty County polling locations will be safer than going to the grocery store. I am confident that we have done everything we can as a county to safeguard the public’s health,” Bush said.
Voters are asked to bring their own pen even if they intend to vote electronically as there is still a form that must be signed prior to voting. Pens will be provided for those who do not bring one and they will be cleaned between uses.
“If you have a mask, wear it. It is not mandatory. I cannot turn anyone away if they do not have a mask. We will have masks if anyone wants or needs one,” Bush said.
During early voting, there were eight voters who tested positive for COVID-19 and were quarantining at home. They were allowed to vote, though some special arrangements had to be made.
“If you are in quarantine, you may have a representative pick up a ballot and take it you in the hospital or at home, and that same person must return the ballot. The designated person must be on our list ahead of time. There are some safety protocols that we have put in place for that,” Bush said. “The person must be able to confirm that they have COVID-19, such as having a doctor’s order.”
Texas election law does not specifically address how elections should be carried out during a pandemic, so elections personnel are relying on other parts of the election law as a guide.
“There is nothing remotely close in the law for how pandemics should be handled. There is a section that speaks to disabilities, and that is what we are using for this election,” Bush said.
While there has been concern that mail-in voting could lead to abuses or fraud, Bush said every precaution has been taken to ensure there is no fraud. So far, his office has had only 400 requests for mail-in ballots, though he does expect that number to increase by the general election in November.
“We guard the election results and the election process with every resource at our disposal. People can rest assured that Liberty County elections are safe, fair and free,” Bush said.
Who is on the ballot?
In the Republican run-off, candidates in five races, including one county-wide race, will be determined. As some face no opposition in November, the winner of the Republican run-off will ultimately be the person who holds the office.
Below are the candidates for the Republican and Democratic run-off elections in Liberty County:
Where do I vote?
If you are uncertain of your voting precinct, check your voter registration card. The precinct number will be posted on the card. If you do not have your card, call the Liberty County Elections Administration Office at 936-253-8050 or go to the voting box closest to you. Poll workers will be able to determine your voting precinct.
Some precincts have been combined with others for this run-off election. The consolidated precincts are as follows:
- Pcts. 2 and 3 – Hardin City Hall, 142 County Road 2010, Hardin
- Pcts. 4 and 11 – Devers School, 201 S. Chism St., Devers
- Pcts. 5, 19 and 27 – Jack Hartel Community Center Building, 318 San Jacinto St., Liberty
- Pct. 6 – Calvary Baptist Church, 15 CR 129, Moss Bluff
- Pcts. 7, 8, 12, 20 and 26 – Cleveland Civic Center, 210 Peach Ave., Cleveland
- Pcts. 9 and 25 – Hwy. Tabernacle Church, 108 CR 2250, Cleveland
- Pcts. 13 and 17 – Hull-Daisetta High School, 117 N. Main (FM 770), Daisetta
- Pcts. 15, 1 and 16 – Romayor Baptist Church, 307, FM 2610, Romayor
- Pct. 18 – Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church, 101 Donatto Rd., Ames
- Pct. 21 and 28 – Kenefick Southern Baptist Church, 3526 FM 1008, Kenefick
- Pcts. 10, 14, 22 and 30 – Dayton Community Center, 801 S. Cleveland, Dayton
- Pct. 23 – Plum Grove First Baptist Church, 155 CR 345, Plum Grove
- Pcts. 24 and 29 – South Liberty County VFD – 8704 FM 1409, Dayton
Keep up with election results
Bluebonnet News will be at the Liberty County Courthouse Tuesday night after the polls close to bring you election results. Go online to http://www.BluebonnetNews.com to keep up. Information will also be posted on the Bluebonnet News Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/bluebonnetnews/