Breckenridge Texan

Early Voting in 2020 General Election, city election starts today, Tuesday, Oct. 13

Early Voting in 2020 General Election, city election starts today, Tuesday, Oct. 13
October 13
08:39 2020

Early Voting in Texas for the 2020 election, which includes the offices of President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and various state, district and county offices, begins today, Tuesday, Oct. 13. In Breckenridge, the City Election will be held in conjunction with the General Election, since the City’s May election was postponed.

The only contested local races are for Stephens County Sheriff and City Commissioner, Place 2.

EARLY VOTING

Early Voting will take place Oct. 13-16, Oct. 19-23 and Oct. 26-30.

Early Voting will take place at the Stephens County Courthouse from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Since this is a joint election between Stephens County and the City of Breckenridge, they are required to allow two 12-hour days of voting. Those times will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, and Friday, Oct. 30.

Voters will be using the county’s new ballot boxes in Early Voting. Click here to read the Breckenridge Texan article about the new ballot boxes.

County Election

The only contested race for Stephens County is the one for Sheriff. The Republican candidate is Kevin Roach, and the Democratic candidate is Kathy Marcom. Click here to read their Candidate Profiles, which they submitted before the Primary Election earlier this year.

Additionally, there are several races with unopposed candidates:

Stephens County Commissioner Precinct 3 Will Warren, Tax Assessor-Collector Christie Latham, County Attorney Gary Trammel are running unopposed. Robert Wayne McMullen is running unopposed for Stephens County Constable  to replace current constable Adam Babilon, who retiring and not seeking reelection.

Also, 90th Judicial District Judge Stephen Bristow and District Attorney Dee Peavy are running unopposed for those offices.

City Election

In April, Breckenridge City Commissioners approved an ordinance to officially cancel the May 2 City election and postpone it until Nov. 3. The cancellation was required by order of the Texas Secretary of State office.

The ballot will include the City Commissioner Place 2 race between incumbent Rob Durham and challenger Gary Mercer, as well as the uncontested races for Mayor (Bob Sims) and Commissioner Place 1 (Russell Blue). The ballot will also include the  reauthorization a ¼ of 1 percent (0.0025) sales tax used for the City’s street maintenance fund. The sales tax used for the street maintenance fund is already in place but is required to be renewed every four years.

Because of the postponed election, Durham has remained in office as commissioner passed the usual May election, and the Texas State Comptroller’s office is allowing the city to continue to collect the street maintenance fund sales tax until December.

Click here to read the Candidate Profiles for Gary Mercer and Rob Durham.

Curbside Voting

For voters who can’t or don’t want to go into the courthouse to vote due to concerns about COVID-19 or other concerns, Stephens County is offering curbside voting.

Curbside voting allows a voter to vote from their vehicle outside the voting location. It is available during early voting, as well as on Election Day.

To arrange for curbside voting, call Latham’s office at 254-559-2732. When you arrive at the courthouse, call again to let them know that you’re there. Then, an election official will go out to your car with a ballot and a form to verify the voter’s identity. After the voter marks their ballot, he/she will place the ballot in a “secrecy envelope” and the election official will deliver it to the ballot box.

BALLOT BY MAIL

The last day to apply for Ballot by Mail is 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. That is the last day that the Voter Registrar can receive the application; it is not a postmark deadline.

There are significant changes to the Ballot By Mail procedures for this upcoming election, Latham said. For this election, a voter will be allowed to return their ballot in person to the Early Voting Clerk (aka Tax Assessor’s office). The voter must return the ballot him- or herself; it may not be delivered by another person. The voter must show their government-issued photo ID and must sign an affidavit when returning the Ballot by Mail in person.

Requirements for applying for Ballot By Mail remain the same as always. “Please rest assured at the Stephens County level, that every effort possible is made, and many different check points and security factors are in place, that would prevent voter fraud from occurring though the Ballot By Mail process,” Latham said in a written statement.

Registered voters who meet certain criteria may be eligible to vote early by mail. You may request a ballot by mail if you:

  • will be away from your county on Election Day and during the hours that early voting is conducted;
  • are sick or disabled;
  • are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
  • are confined in jail but otherwise eligible to vote.

To request a Ballot by Mail for Stephens County, call 254-559-2732 and request that an application to vote by mail be sent to you, or visit the Secretary of State’s website and print out the application.

Voters wanting to vote by mail must re-apply every year in order to receive ballots for each election in that year. There are instructions on the application.

ELECTION DAY

Those voters choosing to vote in person on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, must vote in the precinct where they are registered to vote. The precinct is listed on your voter registration card and also is available on the Am I Registered? Web page.

Election Day voting precinct locations:

  • Precinct 1:  First National Bank Showcase and Tower Room, 101 E. Walker, Breckenridge
  • Precinct 2:  First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1601 W. Elliott, Breckenridge
  • Precinct 3:  Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce, 100 E. Elm, Breckenridge
  • Precinct 4:  BISD Service Support Center, 907 U.S. Highway 183 North, Breckenridge
  • Precinct 5:  Wayland Volunteer Fire Department, 10276 FM 1852

Voter ID

In order to vote in person, a voter must have an acceptable form of identification. The Texas Secretary of State’s Office lists seven different acceptable forms of ID; voters need to have one of the IDs with them in order to vote.

The acceptable forms of ID are:

  • Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
  • Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
  • United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States Passport (book or card)

With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.

If you don’t have one of those forms of ID and cannot reasonably obtain one, there are some alternatives. More details are available on the Secretary of State’s Vote Texas website.

 

Cutline, top photo: On Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 7, Stephens County Elections Administrator Christie Latham demonstrated the new DS200, a ballot scanner and vote tabulator. The new machines will be installed at each precinct on Election Day and at the courthouse during Early Voting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 9:15 a.m. to include information regarding curbside voting and voter ID requirements.

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