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.