Grayson County Elections Administrator Deana Patterson said Tuesday that early voting for the special election to fill the state District 30 senate seat is going well.
Voters can cast ballots this week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday at anyone of the early voting locations that include the Denison sub-courthouse, 101 W. Woodard in Denison, Grayson County Elections Administrations, 115 W. Hoston in Sherman, Pottsboro Independent School District Administration Building, 105 Cardinal Lane in Pottsboro and Whitesboro City Hall, 111 W. Main in Whitesboro.
Next week, those same locations will offer voting opportunities from 8 a.m. to 5p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Then on Thursday and Friday, early voters can cast ballots in that election from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at those same locations.
Patterson said she was particularly excited to talk about the mail in ballots.
The state allows for voters to apply for what is called an annual ballot by mail which means that they get mail in ballots for every election, she explained, so her office knew the people they would need to automatically send those ballots to for the special election.
"We had about 3,000 mail ballots that needed to be sent out for just the special election," she said.
"And they went out last Thursday. Voters received them on Saturday and we got some of them back yesterday," Patterson said excitedly.
That just goes to show, she said, that the post office is capable of handling mail in ballots for elections.
"And the voters have been so pleasant on the phone when we talk to them about ballots by mail and I just wanted to assure everybody that the postal system is doing its job. And we have current evidence this week that we are very very pleased with," she added.
There are four ways to be eligible to vote by mail. They include being 65 years old or older, being disabled, being out of the county on election day and during the early voting period, and being confined in jail but not otherwise barred from voting. Patterson said those who fit in last group must not have been finally convicted of a felony.
"It takes a lot of people to do this and every department in the county supports our office and we have so many workers that help at the (voting) sites, that help us in our office, and I just want to say thank you and thank you to the voters for being pleasant," she said.
When Grayson County Judge Bill Magers told her she does a great job, Patterson deflected.
"Everybody does a great job. Everybody does and I am so appreciative of that," she said.
Magers and others on the commissioner’s court stressed the importance of people voting in the special election.
Commissioners Bart Lawrence said people need to educate themselves about the people running for that spot and then vote.
"It’s a pretty important race and I don’t think people are taking it as seriously as they ought to be," Lawrence said.
Magers asked how many people were running in the race, and Patterson told him there were six candidates. One is a Democrat and the rest are Republicans.
Those candidates are Republican Craig Carter, Democrat Jacob Minter, Republican Chris Watts, Republican Andy Hopper, Republican Shelly Luther and Republican Drew Springer. That is the order that they are listed on the sample ballot on the Grayson County Election’s website.
Election Day is Sept. 29. The last day for the Elections Administration office to receive a request for ballot by mail in Friday, Sept. 18.
Magers said Senate District 30 is important to Grayson County and "it is important that whoever you vote for knows where Grayson County is."
State Senate District 30 is made up of 14 counties including Archer, Clay, Collin,Cooke, Denton, Erath, Grayson, Jack, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Wichita, Wise and Young.
"It’s a free for all. It’s a special election, but there will more than likely be a run off," Magers said.