Low voter turnout on day one of early voting in Potter and Randall Counties

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Elections administrators in Potter and Randall Counties said early voting in the Nov. 2 election got off to a slow start on Monday.

“It is so slow today, just beyond. We’ve had slow elections before, but I think this one may be setting a record for the slowest,” said Melynn Huntley, Potter County elections administrator.

Huntley said 106 people voted in Potter County on Monday. In Randall County, elections administrator Shannon Lackey said only about 120 people had voted by Monday afternoon.

“That is an extremely low turnout but I hope to see is I hope that so many more people come out and cast their ballot for the constitutional amendment, and the city of Amarillo special election,” said Lackey.

Huntley said it is normal to have a lower turnout during these types of elections.

“This is a constitutional amendment election and they’re always slow, tend to be slow unless there’s something just riveting on the ballot,” Huntley said. “So, it’s kind of in line with a typical election of this kind, but it’s just beyond slow and what we find is that people get excited about voting for people they’re less excited about voting for measures.”

Those ballot measures include eight Texas constitutional amendment propositions. Lackey said there is plenty to consider before heading to the polls.

  • Proposition 1 –
    • The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.
  • Proposition 2 –
    • The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.
  • Proposition 3 –
    • The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.
  • Proposition 4 –
    • The constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.
  • Proposition 5 –
    • The constitutional amendment providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office.
  • Proposition 6 –
    • The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation.
  • Proposition 7 –
    • The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse’s residence homestead if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the person’s death.
  • Proposition 8 –
    • The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.

“We have a constitution in the state of Texas and if there were things that could be changed by a governing body, then they would vote on them and change them. But because of the way our Constitution is written, you can’t make some of these changes without a vote of the people. So this is our way of having a voice and a say, in our state lawmaking,” Lackey said.

Huntley said, “I think any time that we have measures on a ballot that is the people that you have elected asking your opinion. So, this is your opportunity to say, ‘We want this,’ or ‘we don’t want this.’ That’s what makes this election important.”

Plus, Amarillo voters will decide whether to increase the property tax rate to help pay for certain city parks assets, six more police officers, and fire equipment.

Click here to see sample ballots for Potter and Randall counties.

“If the city could make this determination without a vote of the people, they would. So, they are asking the people to weigh in on this very important issue. That’s why it’s extremely important to come out and cast your ballot,” Lackey added.

She also said voters should read about each proposition before voting, citing the League of Women Voters guide, which lists pros and cons for each ballot measure.

“Go in educated, read a little bit about them, and do your homework before you go in,” said Lackey. “And it takes the confusion out of casting your ballot.”

Lackey and Huntley are encouraging voters to cast their ballots during early voting and avoid any long lines.

The last day to apply to vote by mail is Friday, Oct. 22. Early voting will run through Oct. 29.

Election day is Nov. 2 and polls in Potter and Randall counties will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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.
    • Mon-Fri, Oct. 18-22 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
    • Sat., Oct. 23 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    • Mon.-Wed., Oct. 25-27 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
    • Thurs.-Fri., Oct. 28-29 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
    • Mon-Fri, Oct. 18-22 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Mon.-Fri., Oct. 25-29 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 18‐October 22, 2021 (Monday‐Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
    • October 23, 2021 (Saturday) 9 am – 3 pm
    • October 25‐27, 2021 (Monday‐Wednesday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
    • October 28 ‐October 29, 2021 (Thursday and Friday) 7 am – 7 pm

Branch locations for early voting in Randall County

  • Randall County Annex, 4320 S. Western
    • October 18‐October 22, 2021 (Monday‐Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
    • October 23, 2021 (Saturday) 9 am – 3 pm
    • October 25‐27, 2021 (Monday‐Wednesday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
    • October 28 ‐October 29, 2021 (Thursday and Friday) 7 am – 7 pm
  • Randall County Justice Center, 2309 Russell Long Blvd, Canyon, TX
    • October 18‐October 22, 2021 (Monday‐Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
    • October 25‐29, 2021 (Monday‐Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
  • Southwest Branch Library, 6801 W. 45th Ave
    • October 18‐October 22, 2021 (Monday‐Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
    • October 25‐29, 2021 (Monday‐Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
  • Comanche Trail Church of Christ, 2700 E. 34th
    • October 18‐October 22, 2021 (Monday‐Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm
    • October 25‐29, 2021 (Monday‐Friday) 8 am ‐ 5 pm

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