Voters stood in a line that flowed down the street and around Hallsville Central Fire Station on Tuesday's election day when Harrison county and Hallsville ISD voters cast their ballots on state constitutional amendments and the Hallsville ISD bond proposals.
Harrison County Elections Administrator Donald Robinette said on Thursday that the most recent election drew in about double the county's usual number of voters during a constitutional amendment election.
"I looked at past constitutional amendment elections in the county and historically, they see about 6 percent voter turnout," Robinette said on Thursday. "I underestimated this one. This one had about 12 percent voter turnout."
With twice the amount of voters expected to turn up at the ballot box, Robinette said several county polling locations ran out of paper ballots, though they had electronic voting machines on hand, and election workers had to run more paper ballots out to the polling centers on Tuesday after Robinette's office printed additional copies.
Hallsville Central Fire Station was one of the locations that did run out of paper ballots, though two E-Slate electronic voting machines were on hand for voters to cast their ballots.
"It's the voter's choice and many prefer paper ballots," Robinette said. "We had Hallsville Central Fire Station run out of paper ballots and we also had quite a few people show up pretty late to vote. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day and the law states that if the person is in line by 7 p.m., they are permitted to vote."
Robinette said the Hallsville polling location didn't "extend its voting hours," workers just allowed every person who was in line by 7 p.m. to cast their vote, causing the polling location to stay open after 7 p.m.
"We haven't had any complaints that anyone wasn't able to vote," Robinette said. "We also had to run more paper ballots out to Woodlawn, Waskom and Marshall Convention Center. We just had a much bigger turnout that the county has historically had in the past for this type of election."
Robinette said quite a few people showed up to the Harrison County Elections Office in Marshall on election day to try to vote.
"You do not vote at the elections office on election day," he said. "You must vote at your designated precinct's polling location. We had several calls and people coming inside asking where to vote. That information can always be found on our website, the newspaper, as well as the state's website."
Robinette said the Gold Hall Community Center in downtown Hallsville has been reserved by the county for election use all next year.
The next election voters will see will be the primary elections in February and March.
Voters must be registered 30 days before an election to be able to vote in that particular election, Robinette said.
Robinette said that the county's more than 44,000 voters should be receiving their renewed voter registration cards in the mail in December or January.
"Voter registration cards are renewed every two years," he said.