A Tarrant County polling place was closed for the start of early voting Tuesday morning because a poll worker had been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Upwards of 300 voters were waiting in line by the time the Euless Senior Center on West Midway Drive was set to open at 8 a.m. Tuesday, according to multiple witnesses. They only realized there was concern after 8 a.m. came and went and the doors had yet to open.
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“It was frustrating,” said Darlene Beard, of Tarrant County, who said she arrived at approximately 5:45 a.m.
Beard said she was not surprised that the coronavirus forced the temporary closure of any particular polling place, but expressed concern that more details were not provided to the people who, like her, had waited so long to vote.
“Voting is so important today that we need not be discouraged with what we see,” Beard said. “Nothing will stop me from allowing my vote to count. That’s just how important this is today.”
One voter said she was confused by the closure.
“Personally I don’t know if I have ever seen a judge during my voting experience so I don’t quite understand the explanation,” said voter Debra Janes.
Another voter was determined to find another polling location to vote.
“We are going to find a spot, if we have to drive around all day we are going to find a spot,” Justina Page said.
The Euless Senior Center was finally able to open for voters shortly after 11 a.m.
Early voting begins Tuesday, Oct. 13 and ends Friday, Oct. 30.
A news release from Tarrant County shortly before 11 a.m. confirmed the following:
Last night a poll worker that was trained on Oct. 8 informed us that he tested positive for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, all workers that were in the same training class were asked to stay home and not show up for work today. This affected three early voting locations: Keller Town Hall, Villages of Woodland Springs and Euless Family Life Senior Center.
“In consultation with our health department they felt like the best thing to do was to ask all the people in that training class to quarantine,” Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said.
Voters in Tarrant County are not required to vote at any particular polling place and can vote at any of the county's early voting centers.