Smith County voters place their ballots amid pandemic

Smith County voters place their ballots amid pandemic
Despite the heat and the pandemic, many smith county residents were seen at the polls to cast their ballot in this years’ 2020 primary run-off election. (Source: Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Despite the heat and the pandemic, many Smith County residents were seen at the polls to cast their ballot in this year’s 2020 primary run-off election.

We caught up with a few voters to hear their experience on voting in the middle of a pandemic.

As cars filled up the parking lots in different parts of Smith County, voters were seen wearing masks and taking precautions inside the buildings. Angie White, a voter who was seen at the hub near downtown Tyler, described her experience.

“The difference is when you walk into the door, they have something that they call a finger protector that they put on you, so that you’re able to use the machines without coming into direct contact with them,” White said. “It took them less than a second to put that on, they did it for you. There’s not a long line waiting, so of course, it really didn’t take that long.”

In Chapel Hill around 9:30 a.m., some voters had to delay their vote after a minor technical mishap between the tablet, computer, and kiosk. Officials said the downtime lasted around 30 minutes and after the issue was fixed, I ran into one voter who explains why she felt it was important to participate in this year’s election.

“I think it is a privilege to vote. I think those that stay home and don’t use that privilege, are making a big mistake,” said Anneke Pinkham. “I feel that it is a privilege, and that is why I wanted to make sure that I voted.”

Pinkham said she feels that the pandemic might have affected today’s turnout.

“I definitely believe that people are deterred because they are afraid, and I think that’s very sad,” Pinkham said. “So, like I said, I think it is very important to do your civic duty and come out to vote.”

White explained why not voting would cost her.

“To me, if I didn’t come out and vote, I would not have a voice moving forward, and I would need to be quiet about anything going on in the government or even within the city,” White said. “It’s not my place to speak if I don’t cast my vote.”

Polls closed Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.