Elections will go on as scheduled

Published on Monday, 3 March 2014 17:12 - Written by Adam Russell, arussell@tylerpaper.com


The weather won’t stop Election Day.

Voters should be careful getting to and from polls but will open as scheduled.

“Election Day will be Tuesday,” Texas Secretary of State spokeswoman Alicia Pierce said. “There’s really no process to move Election Day, so we’re just trying to assist local election officials and party chairmen … and monitor the situation.”

Inclement weather could affect voter turnout and reporting of election results around the state, she said. Ms. Pierce said it is important voters make it to polls but encouraged safety.

Smith County party chairmen said polling locations would stick to the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule. He said there may be delays at individual locations, but election judges and poll workers would be opening polls or assumed on their way to locations at 7 a.m.

“There may be some delays, but we are encouraging judges to open on time, but we want everyone to be safe,” Democratic Party Chairman David Henderson said.

“We want everyone to be safe, but we want everyone to vote,” Republican Party Chairman Tim McCormick said.

Both county chairmen said party headquarters would be open and staff on hand to answer questions for voters.

Smith County Republican headquarters can be reached at 903-593-0100. Democratic headquarters can be reached at 903-593-7061.

Smith County Election Administrator Karen Nelson said election staff also would be available to help.

Staff will answer Election Day questions via a nine-line phone bank. Any questions about precinct-by-precinct voting locations can be answered at 903-590-4777.

Mrs. Nelson said voters can access polling location online at www.smith-county.com .

Click on Current Elections and Sample Ballots on the left of the Election Department page. Select the precinct number found on your voter registration card to access poll addresses.

Photo identification will be required under a newly administered state law. Most residents have at least one of several identification options acceptable to vote.

If you have an unexpired Texas driver's license, state identification card, Concealed Handgun License, U.S. passport, a military identification or citizenship certificate with photos — you can access ballots.

Mrs. Nelson said the Sheriff’s Office responded to problems caused by inclement weather. She said deputies taxied party officials, election judges and election materials to and from polling locations in preparation. Trusty crews and deputies continued moving polling machines to several of the county’s 92 primary voting locations Monday.

“It is a tangled mess,” she said Monday afternoon. “We’ve got a lot of people out there involved with untangling it for Election Day.”

Jamal Moharer, of NDMJ LLC, has offered to provide free taxi services to and from polls on Election Day for residents unable to travel. Residents should contact Moharer and staff in advance at 903-592-4900 if possible.

Moharer’s drivers spent much of Monday picking up city transit customers along stops to complete city transit routes free of charge.

“We’re going to try and help any way we can,” he said. “It’s important that people make it to polls, especially those who don’t have transportation.”