Dallas County Early Voting Turn Out Produces Long Lines, Breaks Record

Over 59,809 early ballots cast Tuesday, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins

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Dallas County voters found long lines and long wait times to cast in-person ballots at many polling places on the first day of early voting Tuesday for the November election.

Some lines seemed longer because people were practicing social distancing, but campaign worker Barry Jacobs said it really was a big turnout.

“I’ve been in Dallas since 2006. I’ve been involved in every election since then. I have never seen anything close to this. We’re talking three and four times as long a line as I’ve ever seen before,” Jacobs said.

Part of the reason is that it takes voters perhaps twice as long to vote when they get to the ballot booth. Straight ticket voting is no longer allowed in Texas so voters must mark each race. There are also more races in this election because May city and school district elections were consolidated to November due to COVID-19.

At the Duncanville Library, voters waited around two hours to cast ballots early in the day, but no one was complaining.

“Too many people paid tremendous prices and sacrifice for us to vote so we have to vote,” voter Glenn T. Young said.

To be sure his vote would be counted, Morris Phillips had his daughter bring a stool to the Duncanville polling place for support in the long line.

“I’m here even though I’m sitting down. Even though my back is hurting. I’m disabled. I want to be able to make that change,” Phillips said.

Voter Elaine Davis ordered a mail-in ballot but waited in that Duncanville line to cast her vote in person because she was concerned about flaws she saw on the mail-in ballot envelope.

“I want it to count, so I just didn’t want there to be no question of it,” Davis said.

Redeemer Lutheran Church on Park Lane across from North Park Center is traditionally one of the busiest Dallas County early voting locations.

The two-hour wait there at lunchtime produced a line that stretched through the adjacent field.

“I’ve voted here for the last 20 years and I’ve never seen it this long either,” said voter Kenny Crumbley.  

At the Samuell Grand Recreation Center in East Dallas, voters said an equipment problem caused two-hour waits early in the day, but the problem was solved by lunchtime and the wait was down to an hour.

“We’ve got to make sure the vote is secure, got to make sure everything is on the up and up. So far from what I’ve seen, they’ve pretty much got everything taken care of, so I’m not going to be bothered on this,” Samuell Grand voter Kirk Thomas said.

Campaign worker Barry Jacobs said he visited several Dallas County polling places and saw the same thing at each one.

“This is just fantastic for our democracy. I could not be more happy about what we are seeing,” Jacobs said.

According to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, 59,809 in-person early ballots were cast on Tuesday, which broke the previous one-day record of 58,775 set in 2016.

There are 61 early voting lotions in Dallas County where any registered voter can cast their ballot.

Early Voting Wait Times

Voting locations are open at different times on different days. Click here to see a schedule by county. Anyone standing in line at when the polling location closes will be allowed to vote.

Dallas County’s voting centers plan will also allow voters to use any one of more than 400 polling places on election day instead of voting only at their neighborhood polling place.

Dallas County officials suggest bringing a sample ballot marked in advance to help make time in the voting booth go faster.  Electronic devices like cell phones may not be used in voting booths but paper assistance is allowed.

Curbside voting is available at early voting polling places. Voters who do not have an assistant to arrange the process can call 214-819-6338 to make arrangements.

To avoid using the mail for mail-in ballots, the Dallas County mail-in ballot drop off location is 1520 Round Table Drive.

Dallas County Early Voting Day 1 by the Numbers

Below is an unofficial tally of in-person voters at polling locations in Dallas County. The data is provided by the Dallas County Elections Department.

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