Voters circle polling place for first day of early voting

October 14, 2020
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By Amanda Rogers

Mansfield Record

People started lining up before daybreak to get to the polls at the Mansfield Sub-Courthouse, eventually winding around the building for the first day of early voting for national, state, county and local elections Tuesday.

“The doors opened at 8 a.m.,” said Madison Newsom, who was manning a tent for her father’s campaign for Mansfield mayor. “At 6:30 a.m., the line wrapped around the back of the building and into the parking lot. We heard people were sitting in lawn chairs at 4:30 in the morning. People are bringing chairs and books and watching movies on their phones.”

By the time the doors opened at 8 a.m., there were 250 to 300 people in line, estimated James Leggs, who was working for Michael Evans’ mayoral campaign.

“It’s been like this all day,” Leggs said.

Mansfield city council candidate Tamera Bounds arrived at 6:30 a.m. and couldn’t believe how many people were already waiting to vote.

“I videoed it,” she said. “I thought ‘nobody is going to believe me.’”

Jo Smith of Grand Prairie said she had been in line for 2 ½ hours before she reached the door and still had 25 people in front of her. When asked why it was so important to vote on the first day, Smith replied, “You don’t have enough time for me to tell you. This is a very important election.”

Dwight Swoope of Arlington was standing not far behind Smith, and also had waited 2 ½ hours to reach the front door of the sub-courthouse.

“I’m tired of all this crazy rhetoric,” he said. “I’m tired of red states and blue states. I want the United States.”

The longest wait at the Mansfield Sub-Courthouse was six hours, according to one of the police officers manning the door. At 4:30 p.m., the line still circled the building. Everyone who was in line by 5 p.m. would get to vote Tuesday, the officer said.

Early voting continues Wednesday.

Polls for Tarrant voters will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 14-17 and, Oct. 19-23; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 24; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 25; and 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 26-30. Polls also will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 3.

Early voting for Tarrant County residents will be at the Mansfield Sub-Courthouse, 1100 E. Broad St., and Oct. 29-30 only at MISD Athletic Complex, 3700 E. Broad St.

Johnson County polls will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 14-16 and Oct. 19-23; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 24; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 25; and 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 26-30 and Election Day Nov. 3.

Early voting for Johnson County residents will be at Precinct 3 Maintenance Facility, 10420 E. FM 917 in Alvarado.

Ellis County polls will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 14-16; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 17; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 19-23; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct.24; 1-6 p.m. Oct. 25; and 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 26-30 and Election Day Nov. 3.

Early voting for Ellis County residents will be at the Midlothian Conference Center, 1 Community Circle Drive in Midlothian.

If there is a need, all run-off elections will be held Dec. 8.

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