The Harrison County Commissioners Court recently approved the order of election for the Nov. 8 General Election, along with early voting locations, dates and times.
Early voting begins Oct. 24-28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“The main office will be open the middle weekend on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 7 to 7 and on Sunday, Oct. 30 from 1 to 7,” noted Elections Administrator Donald Robinette.
“The main office will also be open from 7 to 7 the entire second week,” he added. “The branch locations will be open weekdays only from 8 to 5, with the exception of the last two days, Nov. 3 and 4, from 7 to 7.”
Early voting branch locations are: Waskom Subcourthouse at 165 W. Texas Ave.; TJ Taylor Community Center at 15642 FM 134 in Karnack; ESD No. 9 at 130 FM 451 in Elysian Fields; Scottsville Community Center at 1325 Green St. in Scottsville; Carver Community Center at 2302 Holland St. in Marshall; Gold Hall at 101 East Elm St. in Hallsville; Woodland Hills Baptist Church at 2105 E. Loop 281 in Longview; Harleton Community Center at 4335 Community St. in Harleton; and Woodlawn Community Center at 199 Oak Lawn Terrace in Woodlawn.
On the Ballot
On the ballot are two contested county races. The contested races are Democratic incumbent Zephaniah Timmins for Pct. 2 County Commissioner against Republican challenger Chad Graff; and Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Democratic candidate Demisha Crawford against Republican candidate Don Jordan.
Vying for the U.S. House District 1 seat, which is currently held by Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler), is Republican candidate Nathaniel Moran and Democratic candidate Jrmar Jefferson.
Uncontested county races on the ballot are the offices of Pct. 4 County Commissioner, Criminal District Attorney, County Judge, County Court-at-Law Judge, District Clerk, County Treasurer, Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace, and Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace.
Election Day hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 8.
Election Day Polling Locations
Election Day polling places within Commissioner Precinct 1 are: Marshall Convention Center, TJ Taylor Community Center in Karnack, ESD No. 9 in Elysian Fields and the Waskom Subcourthouse.
Election Day polling places within Commissioner Precinct 2 are: East Texas Baptist University, Carver Community Center/Anointing Grace Ministries, Scottsville Community Center, Marshall Public Library and Sweet Home Church of Christ in Hallsville.
Election Day polling places within Commissioner Precinct 3 are: Gold Hall in Hallsville, Western Harrison ESD 1 Main in Longview, Woodland Hills Baptist Church in Longview and Trails End Cowboy Church in Hallsville.
Election Day polling places within Commissioner Precinct 4 are: St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Marshall, ESD 2 (Station 3) in Nesbitt, West Harrison ESD 1 (Station 3) in Longview, Woodlawn Community Center and Harleton Community Center.
County Judge Chad Sims noted the eight traditional voting boxes and locations that will be eliminated and consolidated into the new voting boxes for Election Day — though with countywide voting in place, voters can vote at any open polling location regardless of where they live.
He said, in Commissioner Precinct 1, Precinct voting box 7 will no longer vote at ESD No. 3, voting box 10 will no longer vote at ESD No. 4 (Station 4), voting box 18 will no longer vote at Marshall City Arena, and voting box 21 will no longer vote at Friendship Baptist Church in the Gill community.
In Commissioner Precinct 2, the Precinct voting box 11 at Harrison County Airport will be eliminated.
In Commissioner Precinct 4, the precinct voting box 4 at Lions Community Center will be eliminated, as well as voting box 16 at Smyrna Methodist Church and voting box 23 at Morton Baptist Church.
“Again, one of our goals was to reduce some of these boxes that had very low turnout,” Judge Sims said.
Nevertheless, he noted that the ability to have countywide voting model makes it easier for voters to vote anywhere they choose.
Robinette echoed his sentiments.
“The countywide program allows us to reduce locations to 65 percent this go ‘round. Seventeen equals 65 percent, but we’re adding one more for good measure,” said Robinette, noting the county will be using 18 instead of 26 Election Day locations this time.
“Voters residing in any of these precincts may vote at any of the other 18 locations, which will be open on Election Day,” the elections administrator said. “In keeping with the countywide model of voting, any voter can vote anywhere that a polling place is open. All ballots for all entities holding elections will be available at all locations.”
Robinette noted that he didn’t eliminate any locations in Commissioner Precinct 3 because the area only has four precinct voting boxes that are all pretty densely populated.
The elections administrator noted that new voting equipment also makes elections more secure.
“Voting on the new equipment allows the voter to double check their selections before printing their vote record, thus eliminating unclear markings,” he said. “The printed vote record is a paper trail that can be recounted in the need should arise. After a voter creates their own “ballot” that is, a printed vote record, then they must cast that ballot into a scanner and wait for the flag to fly telling them their vote has been counted.”
Pct. 1 Commissioner William Hatfield thanked Robinette for his efforts in running a smooth election.
“Mr. Robinette, I want to tell you I think you have done an excellent job. I’ve been in this seat since you got hired, and you went through a tremendous huge election in 2020 and got the results out in a very timely manner,” Hatfield praised. “We’ve done the redistricting. You’ve done an excellent job with that. And this court have done all we can to help the voters of Harrison County out. We’ve spent over a million dollars on election equipment. With your guidance, I think it is going a whole lot smoother than it ever been. I just want to commend you for a job well done.”
Robinette thanked members of the court for their support.
“Thank you, court, for being supportive of our work there and understanding,” he said. “I believe we are going in a step in the right direction.”