Gregg County elections official talks about changes voters will see at the polls

East Texas News at 6.
Updated: Sep. 16, 2020 at 10:38 AM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Elections they are a-changing. And the differences in Gregg County reflect changes that are coming state wide.

KLTV's Jamey Boyum talks with Gregg County Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy

Gregg County Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy and her entire staff are pretty busy making sure everything adds up just like it’s supposed to considering the differences.

“No. 1 is this will be our first general election where you will have no straight party voting. You will have to read every office, every candidate and manually select each one,” Nealy said.

So no lazy voting and it will take a little longer considering that and CDC COVID-19 pandemic guidelines so Gov. Abbott threw in:

“An extra week of early voting. We will have three weeks instead of two,” Nealy said.

Early voting is about a month away starting Oct. 13:

“And it will run all the way through Oct. 30,” Nealy said.

She says Gregg County has 10 places to cast ballots giving voters:

“One hundred and eighty chances to vote early,” Nealy said.

Of course, you can only do it once. That hasn’t changed. But if you put voting off until election day:

“You will probably be waiting outside,” Nealy said.

Because of social distancing. And they’re shifting a few locations.

“We are no longer going to vote at our Pine Tree High School voting location or at the Pine Tree Facility Services location. We will open a station out at Community Connections, or at Calvary Baptist Church,” Nealy said.

The county is thinking of the kids.

“We don’t need to expose 1,200 students to 500 voters walking on their campus,” Nealy said.

And since the May elections were canceled there will be custom ballots.

“You’ll have everything from the federal election, state election, county election on your ballot, and then your city or school ballot will be on that same page,” Nealy said.

Depending on where you live, which is determined when you show ID. And mail-in ballots can be hand delivered, by the voter, to the election administration office, or mailed in.

“We’re going to be ready for you, we just again, encourage you to vote early. You must vote early,” Nealy said.

And that can be done from any polling place in Gregg County.

Click here to see the new voting machines in Gregg County and how they will work.

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