Hopkins County Commissioners Court had a short session Monday morning, with only two items on the agenda: canvass of election returns from the Nov. 3 General Election and consider agreements retuned signed by volunteer fire departments.
Canvass Of Election Returns
Hopkins County Clerk Tracy Smith, who also serves as the county’s elections official, reported the votes submitted match the unofficial results report received from voting equipment Tuesday night, Nov. 3, at the conclusion of the General Election. Overall, 11,632 early votes, 2,985 Election Day, 1,368 mail ballots and 5 provisional ballots were counted in the General Election.
A total of 15,999 Hopkins County residents cast ballots in the Nov. 3 elections. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, Hopkins County had 23,954 registered voters. The voter register, however, shows 23,884. The difference likely was last minute registration changes, Smith told the Commissioners Court. Either way, that’s closer to 66 percent of registered voters and a new record (but did included an extra week of voting).
Smith reported the total would have been 16,000 voters casting ballots, but there was one undervote. She explained that one person had checked in and visited the voting machine toward the end of the day Nov. 3. When the Election was over, it was discovered that while the individual had made selection, the ballot was never officially cast, so it could not be counted.
She presented to the Commissioners Court a copy of the totals as well as the unofficial results report printed based on data collected from the voting machines Election Night.
Smith noted there was one glitch on Election Day with poll pads; it was a nation-wide problem due to server issues. The voting machines were down for 1 1/2 hour or less. She did not receive any complaints at the voting site or her office, nor did her office receive any calls from voters that voters didn’t get to vote — voting was just delayed for a short time during the morning of Nov. 3.
The Commissioners Court and county judge extended appreciation to Smith, her staff and the election workers who staffed voting all 3 weeks and on Election Day for their work and dedication, which resulted in an efficient election with very few issues, and not regarding actual votes cast.
Hopkins County Commissioners Court, at the previous regular meeting last week, set Dec. 1 as a deadline for volunteer fire departments to return agreements with the county. The agreements allow the VFDs, as contractors under the county to not only be dispatched and respond to calls but to receive benefits from the county such as reimbursement for vehicle insurance and fuel costs, workers compensation and monthly stipends.
So far, the court has received only 4 signed agreements. The first agreement turned in by Dike VFD was approved at the Nov. 9 meeting. On Nov. 16, agreements were received from the officers of Saltillo, Pickton-Pine Forest and North Hopkins/South Sulphur VFD; all three received approval of the commissioners court.