Early Voting Continues and Official Talks About “Lessons Learned” So Far

Election Day is 19 days away but thousands of North Texans are taking advantage of early voting

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Thousands continued to exercise their right to vote on Wednesday, as the second day of early voting wrapped up.

In Dallas County, the 61 polling locations closed at 7 p.m. and in Tarrant County, the 50 sites closed at 5 p.m.

This year social distancing, sanitizing and masks have changed the way voters cast their ballots, but the steps to prevent the spread aren't stopping people from heading to the polls.

Dallas County saw a record breaking number of voters, 58,809, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Tuesday. The record for early voting for the last presidential election in 2016 was 58,775. More than a million people are registered to vote in Dallas County.

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.

In Tarrant County, more than 40,000 people showed up yet again for day two of early voting, totaling the number to 87,487, which is about 7.29%. More than 1.1 million people are registered to vote in Dallas County.

Heider Garcia, the Tarrant County Elections Administrator said he's expecting a big turnout.

"We have an extra week of early voting, in my mind right now, there's no doubt we’re going to have more votes cast in early voting than in any previous election," said Garcia. “We want people to vote early. The sooner you vote, the less people to vote on election day, the smoother everything's going to go."

He said they have learned a few lessons in the past two days with early voting, including what to do when a poll worker gets sick with COVID-19.

The county had to delay the opening of the Euless location and a couple of others were impacted when 25 poll workers were told to quarantine. Garcia said they were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 during an elections training class.

Instead of training everyone together, it will be spaced out.

"For example, if we don’t train all the group of workers from one location together, then [if] the class gets exposed, at least you still have at least half the group. We’re going to start segmenting them in different rooms," said Garcia.

He said they have about 80 people as backup poll workers, but they're always looking for more to be on standby.

Other than that, overall it's been a smooth two days of early voting.

“We have 900 machines around the county right now for people to vote. There's always going to be one that has an issue, there's always going to be one poll worker that doesn't show up, there's always going to be one call we didn't get to. It's a  huge operation, Tarrant County is the third-largest in Texas to set up to vote, not justifying anything, you know, we take very seriously and we don't want to inconvenience a single voter. Yeah, these things happen, it's the nature of the machines and we're on it as soon as we can," said Garcia.

Early voting ends on Oct. 30

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