Low voter turnout in Potter and Randall Counties ahead of Nov. 2 election

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — With one day left to vote early in the Texas constitutional amendment election on Nov. 2, voter turnout in Potter and Randall Counties remained extremely low.

Melynn Huntley, the elections administrator in Potter County, said on Thursday that voter turnout was below 4%, with fewer than 3,000 registered voters casting their ballots.

“That counts my people who voted by mail,” said Huntley. “So, I’m not expecting it to just jump up on election day if early voting is a reliable indicator.”

In Randall County, elections administrator Shannon Lackey said that day they had seen about 3% of registered voters turn out. Lackey said there are nearly 93,000 registered voters in the county.

“Turnout is low for this election, but they are typically low for constitutional amendment elections,” said Lackey. “I did some comparison and we’re actually up a little bit if you could compare it to 2019.”

In Potter County, Huntley said they expected low turnout since most elections like this see about 8-9% turnout.

“People get all excited when a name is on the ballot when it’s a person,” said Huntley. “Unless there’s a lot of publicity about something that voters get passionate about, sometimes they will skip an election. So, this is typically a little bit lower but this is lower than anyone could have imagined.”

Now, they are encouraging voters to make their voices heard on the propositions.

“There’s still some very, very important measures in there. This is a time that legislators are asking you your opinion on some things and we value the fact that they ask rather than just do,” Huntley said. “So, there is a proposition for the City of Amarillo, that is very important. There are eight different constitutional amendments, two of which are kind of an outcry as a result of the COVID pandemic, and some of the things that people have the option to vote on will matter when you really sit down and look at it. You may have an opinion on it.”

Lackey said, “If those in charge could make these decisions without your input, they would. So, these are actually changes to our Constitution of the State of Texas. This is your chance to be a part of changing that constitution. You have a say in these things.”

They also pointed to several resources available for voters who are unsure about how to vote on each ballot measure.

“Do a little bit of research. You know, the League of Women Voters guide is wonderful. It’s a wonderful tool to use,” said Lackey. “You can look at the sample ballots on our website, and just to familiarize yourself.”

Huntley said about the LWV web page, “On that site, they can put in their address. It will pull up the ballot that they will be looking at, so if they live in the city, that proposition will be there. If they don’t, it won’t. And vote411.org is a great resource.”

With just 8 or 9 ballot measures, they said voting should be quick.

“The ballot doesn’t take any time at all to vote. If you think you don’t have enough time to take care of this, you’re probably wrong, because the lines are nonexistent and the ballot is quick,” said Huntley.

“It’s not going to take a lot of time out of your day,” said Lackey. “Do a little bit of research and come in and cast your ballot.”

Friday, Oct. 29 is the last day to vote early. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Here’s where to vote on election day in Potter County and Randall County.

Main location for early voting in Potter County

  • Santa Fe Building Ticket Office, 900 S. Polk St, first floor. If you have recently moved to Potter County and need to vote a Limited Ballot, plan to vote early at the Santa Fe Building.
    • Fri., Oct. 29 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m

Branch locations for early voting in Potter County

  • Casey Carpet One, 3500 I-40 West Frontage Rd, main entrance
  • United Amigos, 3300 E. I-40, west end
  • Hillside Christian Church NW, 600 Tascosa Road, foyer
  • Cornerstone Outreach, 1111 N. Buchanan, Fellowship Room
    • Fri., Oct. 29 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

Main location for early voting in Randall County

  • Randall County Election Administration Office, 1604 5th Ave, Canyon, TX
    • October 29, 2021 (Friday) 7 am – 7 pm

Branch locations for early voting in Randall County

  • Randall County Annex, 4320 S. Western
    • October 29, 2021 (Friday) 7 am – 7 pm
  • Randall County Justice Center, 2309 Russell Long Blvd, Canyon, TX
    • October 29, 2021 (Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
  • Southwest Branch Library, 6801 W. 45th Ave
    • October 29, 2021 (Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
  • Comanche Trail Church of Christ, 2700 E. 34th
    • October 29, 2021 (Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm

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