Early voting down to the home stretch - continues 8-4:30 Wed., Thur & Friday

In person early voting up to 1,582 as of Tuesday, Feb. 25

Shelby County's early voting location for the March 3 primary election continues to be open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., through Friday of this week at the Center Community House, 423 San Augustine Street in Center.

Election officials on Tuesday said the Shelby County early voting location had a steady stream of voters show up. Jennifer Fountain, county clerk, reported 164 people had cast ballots in person during early voting on Tuesday.

That pushed the total of in-person ballots cast in early voting in Shelby County to 1,582. Fountain expects the county's early voting number to surpass the 1,676 votes cast four years ago in the last presidential election year primary.

Based on past elections and voter interest in this year's March 3 primary election, Fountain expects election officials to be busy right up until early voting stops on Friday. And, she expects a last minute surge in activity that day.

“We expect as many as 500 or more votes on Friday,” she said. The Republican Primary ballot has a large of number of contested races topped by five candidates seeking the sheriff's job and a contested race for district attorney; along with contested county commissioner seats for precincts 1 and 3; five people seeking the Pct. 3 JP seat; and contested races for several constable positions.

According to the Texas Secretary of State's office, Shelby County has 15,285 voters registered for the March 3 primaries. As of Tuesday's total of 1,582 votes cast in person, that means about 10 percent of registered voters in the county have already made their decisions final by casting ballots already. That total does not include mail-in ballots.

This year's Shelby County registration number is nearly 4 percent above the total of registered voters in the last presidential election year primary of 2016. The county had 14,713 people registered to vote in March 2016, according to Texas Secretary of State figures.

Early voting hours continue Monday through Friday, Feb. 24-28, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the Center Community House, 423 San Augustine Street.

Due to the construction on the Center square, early voting for the upcoming Primary Election has been moved to the Center Community House, 423 San Augustine St. in Center, Fountain said. She said many voters have expressed their appreciation for the effort to move the early voting location from the County Clerk's Office to the Community House.

“They're saying it's a lot easier to get in and out here,” she said. Fountain said a number of voters indicated they would like to see the early voting take place at the Community House in the future regardless of the downtown streetscape construction going on currently.

Early voting hours continue through Friday, Feb. 24-28, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Among local candidates seeking office on the March 3 primary election ballot are:

• District Attorney — Stephen Shires (I) and Karren Price

• County Attorney — Gary Rholes (I)

• County Tax Assessor-Collector — Debora Riley (i)

• Sheriff — Newton Johnson Jr.; Tanner Peace; Derek Barbee; Joey Hudnall and Kevin W. Windham.

• Pct. 1 County Commissioner — Roscoe McSwain (I) and Donnie Borders

• Pct. 3 County Commissioner — David Cheatwood, Stevie Smith and Willis Blackwell

• Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace — Sean Permenter, Darrell Alford, Billy D. Barnett, Don Jones and Melba Rodgers

• Pct. 1 Constable — Zach Warr (i) and Ricky King

• Pct. 2 Constable — Jamie Hagler (I) and Randy Dean

• Pct. 3 Constable — Roy Cheatwood (i)

• Pct. 4 Constable — Jake Metcalf (i) and Bryan Gray

• Pct. 5 Constable — Josh Tipton and Robert Hairgrove (i)

• County Democrat Party Chair — Patsy Handy (i)

• County Republican Party Chair — Leigh Porterfield (i)

Also filing for re-election has been incumbent District 9 State Rep. Chris Paddie, (R-Marshall), who is being challenged in the March primary by Mark Williams of Carthage. Both will be invited to attend.

On primary election day, March 3, polling places across Shelby County will be open from 7 a.m.— 7 p.m.

2020 Election Calendar Dates

February 22, Saturday — Saturday voting in Shelby County will be Saturday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

February 23, Sunday — Sunday early voting in Shelby County will be from 12 noon until 4 p.m.

• February 28, Friday — Last day to vote early in person — hours are 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

March 3, Tuesday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. — Primary election day.

March 10, Tuesday — Precinct conventions held for parties nominating by convention.

March 14, Saturday County convention for minor parties that are nominating candidates for single-county district, county, or precinct offices.

• March 15, Sunday — Deadline for state executive committee to conduct state canvass for all races with potential runoffs (races with three or more candidates). State chair must certify these candidates for statewide and district offices for placement on runoff primary election ballot to county chair as soon as practicable after canvass is completed. The certification will be posted to the secretary of state’s website.

• March 18, Wednesday — 5 p.m. — Last day runoff primary candidates may withdraw from ballot.• April 27, Monday — Last day to register to vote or make a change of address effective for the Tuesday, May 26, 2020 primary runoff election.

May 5, Tuesday Last day for county clerk to post notice of the runoff primary election o202n the county’s website. The notice must also be posted on the county’s website if the county maintains a website. If the county does not maintain a website, the notice must be posted on the commissioners court bulletin board.

• May 15, Friday — Last day for early voting clerk to receive applications for a ballot to be voted by mail. (All applications to vote by mail must be received by the early voting clerk before the close of regular business or 12 noon, whichever is later. Applications to vote by mail must be submitted by mail, common or contract carrier, fax (if a fax machine is available in the office of the early voting clerk) or e-mail. The early voting clerk will need to designate an e-mail address for the receipt of applications for ballot by mail.

May 18, Monday — First day to vote early in person for the May 26 runoff election.

May 22, Friday Last day to vote early in person in the runoff primary election.

May 26, Tuesday — Runoff Primary election day.

Oct. 5, Monday — Last day to register to vote for Nov. 3 general election.

Oct. 19, Monday — First day of early voting by personal appearance for Nov. 3 general election.

Oct. 23, Friday — Last day to apply for ballot by mail (received, NOT postmarked)

Oct. 30, Friday — Last day of early voting by personal appearance for Nov. 3 general election

Nov. 3, Tuesday — General Election Day, polls open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.


The Light and Champion

137 San Augustine St.
Center TX 75935