Elections officials in Tarrant County say they may add more polling sites during the last two days of early voting after a busy first few days of the three-week stretch.
Heider Garcia, the elections administrator for Tarrant County, said he would present a plan to county commissioners at the next meeting to open an additional eight sites on the last two days of early voting -- Oct. 29-30.
“One of the things we anticipated that could happen is if the turnout was a lot higher than previous elections, the last two days of early voting traditionally, you would see turnout double or triple. It’s just incredible what happens,” Garcia said. “If that happened, we were concerned of the long lines, the exposure. What can we do? The code does not allow to open temporary polling places, but the code does allow for commissioners court to react to say, ‘We need to amend the schedule. We need to add locations.’”
According to the Tarrant County Elections Administration, the highest first-hour turnout so far was on Friday morning -- the fourth day of early voting. Garcia said during the morning hours, there were more than 5,000 people voting each hour.
At the White Settlement Public Library on Friday, Frank Antonelli said he waited just over an hour in line to cast his ballot. Asked about the possibility of adding more sites, Antonelli said he thought it was a good idea.
“More polling places means more people will get out to vote,” he said. “A lot of people don’t have access to vehicles or they take the bus, or they just walk. If we have places then we have more people voting and more voting, just… everybody gets their voices heard. That’s what we need.”
The request has been added to the county commissioners’ Tuesday agenda. The meeting begins at 10 a.m.