Liberty County voters are continuing to turn out in droves for the 2020 general election. On Wednesday, the second day of early voting, 1,634 ballots were cast, pushing past what Election Administrator Klint Bush said was a record first day of early voting on Tuesday when 1,420 ballots were cast.
In the last presidential election year in 2016, Liberty County voters cast 17,320 votes in early voting and 7,123 on election day. With an extra week of early voting this year and based on the turnout being seen at all four early voting locations, Bush expects this year’s election to exceed the 2016 numbers.
“I’m still convinced this will be a record year for voter turnout,” Bush said. “We have never had these kinds of lines at all four locations. We have extra machines and extra workers at all four locations. Yes, there are delays, but there are a lot of people turning out for this election.”
Bush said voters should not be discouraged from voting if they arrive at the polls to see long lines as most people are being processed fairly quickly with wait times around 30 minutes.
“If you can’t stand in line, you can also try another day or another location,” said Bush. “This is part of voting. In other states, people stand in line for hours to vote.”
Once inside the polling locations, a team of people are assisting voters with signing in, finding their name on the voter rolls and issuing them a ballot based on where they reside. There are a total of 80 different ballot styles for Liberty County elections this year with city and school board races included in the mix.
“We have a minimum of four people processing people at each location. At some locations, we even have six or seven poll workers. In normal election years, we would have three. We have stepped everything up this year,” Bush said.
After a few initial hiccups, Bush said that overall the process seems to be working as planned.
“We have contingency plans in place in case something happens and a printer goes down,” he said. “We have 50 ballots for each precinct that we can shuttle out to a location if needed.”
On Election Night, Nov. 3, after the polls close, the early voting results will be the first election results available. Bush says the early voting results should be available that evening by 8:30 p.m. Bush said that early voting numbers “usually tell the tale,” meaning that Election Day results generally are good indicators of who will win.
“I want the early returns to be available sooner than 8:30 p.m. but I am trying to manage people’s expectations. My whole team for this election – all 80 of us – are voters, too. We want the results to be right. We want everything to be accurate, valid and correct. It’s only the future of our country and our citizens at stake,” he said.
If you are uncertain of the polling locations and hours of operation, please take note of the items below. One lists information for early voting and the other is for Election Day polling locations. Liberty County voters can vote in any of the locations. You do not have to go to the poll in your community if it is not convenient.