Final weekend of early voting held in East Texas

Final weekend of early voting held in East Texas

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - It was the last weekend people could vote early in Texas and across the state, turnout was high, with many choosing not to chance waiting in long lines on election day.

However, depending on where you voted, turnout may have been a bit of a surprise Saturday.

There were no lines at the Gregg County Courthouse in Longview, as a slow trickle of voters came in to cast early ballots.

Voter Michael Reyes had a theory on why.

“I think the biggest answer is, you know, COVID. That’s the big presence on the whole world and the concern about lines and getting sick. nobody wants to pass it on,” Reyes said.

The early voting total for Angelina County was over 19,000.

But today, there were no lines, and protocols were observed.

“No problems whatsoever," said Lufkin voter Ashley Berry. “It clearly states to wear a mask, so I put my mask on went right in, and everything was fine.”

Even election officials were surprised at the light turnout here in Gregg County. However, they said that could be because so many have voted early already.

Gregg County election officials say over 28,000 early votes have been cast, 5,000 more than the 2018 election cycle.

In Smith County, the story was much the same.

“Very quick, very efficient. Got me; then my wife voted," said voter Keith Hillard. "I looked into the candidates, and before I got here, my mind was definitely made up.”

Even so, many thought the right to vote outweighed the COVID-19 risk.

“I believe that everybody’s vote counts,” Berry said.

“If you don’t vote, then you’ve given up your say in this election,” Hillard said.

Early voting will continue in Texas through Friday.

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