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Wood County Voters Reported Ballot Issue For Yantis ISD Trustees Election

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Twice last week, voters reported ballot issues for the Yantis ISD Trustees Election. One was reported in Hunt County and the other ballot issue for Yantis ISD Trustees Election was reported in Wood County.

On the first day of voting, a voter notified Hopkins County election officials that YISD trustees election wasn’t on the ballot when he attempted to vote on Tuesday. It was found the contract for the election was never received by Hopkins County officials. Texas Secretary of State’s Office was contacted regarding the ballot issued for Yantis ISD Trustees Election; a separate voting booth with paper ballots and election workers were in place in Hopkins County the next morning for all YISD Trustees Election voting. Anyone YISD voter who cast a ballot before the matter was addressed Wednesday morning can stop by YISD voting booth anytime during the early voting period to cast a ballot in that trustees election.

In Wood County, a few voters last week reported received the wrong school ballot during early voting. One resident who lives near the lake reported receiving a ballot that included the Quitman ISD Trustees Election instead of the Yantis ISD Trustees Election. She reported alerting an election worker that she lives within YISD, not QISD. She was reportedly offered a provisional ballot to vote in the YISD election.

When the voter called Wood County officials later in the week about the matter, she was told it had been taken care of. However, the woman said she was told 2 others she knows who live within YISD did not receive the YISD ballot either.

According to Wood County Elections Administrator Laura Wise, a glitch was discovered in the voting system. The road on which the voters live was discovered to be incorrect in the system. She said that has been corrected and voting continues as normal. The issue only affected “a handful of voters.”

The Wood County elections officer said the woman who originally reported the issue declined to cast a provisional ballot to vote in the Yantis ISD election, the information on the ballot she did cast will be counted along with other Wood County resident’s votes on Election Day.

The Elections Administrators said she was made aware Friday of another resident of that same street not having the YISD election on the ballot. The computer error regarding the street was discovered and addressed, according to the elections officer.

Wise encourages voters to report any voting issues to election workers by while at the voting center, prior to casting a ballot if possible, so the matter can be addressed immediately. Instances such as the wrong school election being listed or a school election being left off of the ballot can be addressed immediately by canceling the incorrect ballot and giving the voter a correct ballot to complete on site, and the matter looked into, the election administrator reported.

If any other residents within YISD voted early on a ballot with Quitman ISD instead of YISD on the ballot, they may contact the election officer regarding the matter.

The Yantis ISD trustee election is one of a number of city and school elections elections postponed or rescheduled for Nov. 3 due to the Governor’s order canceling May elections, which included early voting in April, due to the spread of the COVID-19 across the state and country during the spring.

In Wood County, there are at least 40 different ballots, including those for elections called by Alba Golden, Big Sandy, Mineola, Yantis, Hawkins and Quitman school districts; and the cities of Hawkins, Quitman and Winnsboro, according to the EA.

Many polling centers are reporting heavy, possible record, numbers of voters turning out at the polls. According to voting information reported to the Secretary of State’s office, 7,369 voters had cast in-person ballots (22.76 percent ) and 1,499 mail through Friday, Oct. 16. That’s 8,868 of the 32,382 registered voters in Wood County (27.39 percent) voting through Friday. According to the Election Page on the Wood County Elections/Voter Registration Wood County has  31,862 registered voters.

Another 350 took advantage of Saturday voting, approximately 120 of those during the morning hours; typically, less than 50 voters turn out for in-person Saturday voting. Adding another 6 mail ballots, a total of 9,224 voters or 28.48 percent of registered voters in Wood County had voted as of the close of the voting center Saturday, Oct. 17, according to the SOS website.

In Wood County, the biggest turnout during the early voting period since 1988 was 12,960 in 2016, followed by 9,480 in 2018 and 9,245 in 2008, according to the Wood County voter registration figures reported by the SOS.

Early voting in Wood County in the Nov. 3 Elections continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 19-24, and Oct. 30; and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 26-29, at the Wood County Annex building, located at 200 West Bermuda St. in Quitman.

Wood County Annex
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Author: Faith Huffman

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