Election polls finally open in Wharton County Tuesday with a ballot covering everything from El Campo City Council and Louise ISD candidates to who should be president.
With 25,573 registered voters, turnout is expected to be strong starting on day one.
To minimize the waiting time, Wharton County Elections Administrator Cindy Richter recommends residents plan on voting early and have their identification cards ready to be checked into the poll.
“And know who you are going to vote for. There are state, federal and county (candidates),” Richter said. “And, if they are in the City of El Campo, read and understand all the amendments (please see sample ballot on Page 4-A).”
El Campo’s at-large representatives will be selected by the still unknown percentage of 5,840 registered voters within the city limits who actually cast ballots.
Participating municipal voters will also decide how the city’s mayor is selected. A charter amendment on the November 2020 ballot asks voters if the mayor should be the top vote-getter among at-large representatives and the mayor pro tem the second place finisher. If voters approve that amendment, it will go into effect when November’s winners are sworn into office.
El Campo city posts are typically decided in May, but were delayed this year as a COVID safety precaution.
In the last at-large election, held in May 2018, not quite 600 votes were cast with four candidates seeking the three posts. In the May 2016 vote, the top vote getter received 315 votes.
During the last presidential race, about 14,000 Wharton County voters opted to cast ballots.
“Most was early voting. We had 10,000 early votes. I’m trying to plan for 20,000 this year,” Richter said.
The county already has sent 1,500 mail ballots out to those meeting the requirements of being older than 65, disabled or planning on being out of the county.
The local office can handle a 20,000 turnout, Richter said, adding she encouraged everyone to plan on voting.
“There’s three weeks of early votes, five hours on Saturday and Sunday,” Richter said, adding it should give everyone ample opportunity to cast a ballot if they wish to do so.
Where: the El Campo Library, 200 W. Church; Wharton County Annex D, Classroom 116, 315 E. Milam in Wharton; and the East Bernard Library.
When: Starting Tuesday, Oct. 13, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Wednesday, Oct. 28 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 and Friday, Oct. 30.
The county will offer weekend voting at the annex only from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25.
How: Voter ID is required.