Early voting underway in Tarrant County

Wait times in Keller averaged above three hours on the first day of early voting as a result of limited poll workers and non-functioning voting machines. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wait times in Keller averaged above three hours on the first day of early voting as a result of limited poll workers and non-functioning voting machines. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Wait times in Keller averaged above three hours on the first day of early voting as a result of limited poll workers and non-functioning voting machines. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Early voting in Texas kicked off Oct. 13 as voters headed to the polls to cast their ballot for federal, state and local candidates. Despite the pandemic, people are turning up at the polls in record numbers.

According to the Tarrant County elections website, a total of 221,760 in-person and mail-in ballots had already been cast as of end of day on Oct. 17, which represents 18.5% of all registered voters in the county. In the 2016 presidential election, there were a total of 239,876 ballots counted during the first five days of early voting in Tarrant County, or 22.3% of all registered voters within the county.

Tarrant County voters are eligible to vote at any polling location in the county during early voting. Voters at the polls on Oct. 13 said that safety precautions in place have helped them feel safe and comfortable. Despite the long lines, for some voters, the process was rapid and efficient.

“It was great. [I was] very surprised how great, how well organized it was,” said Grapevine resident Mary Engel, who voted at Grapevine REC with her husband, Jimmy. “It really feels good to see so many people out voting. It did my heart good to walk up and have to stand in the long line.”••In contrast, voters in Keller and North Fort Worth were facing long lines and other difficulties on the first day of early voting, as a result of a poll worker who rested positive during a training session.••“I’ve never waited that long to vote in my life,” said Keller resident Barbara Rhome, who voted at Keller Town Hall.

By Friday, Oct. 16, the wait in Keller had dropped from an average of three hours to one hour, according to elections officials.


As Keller’s only voting location, Town Hall averaged more than 1,200 ballots cast during each of the first three days of early voting. Wait times also significantly improved in North Fort Worth where a polling location at the Villages of Woodland Springs saw an 80% increase in ballots cast from day one to day three of early voting. A total of 1,543 ballots were cast at that location on Oct. 15.

By Ian Pribanic
Ian Pribanic covers city government, transportation, business and education news for Community Impact Newspaper in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth areas. A Washington D.C. native and University of North Texas graduate, Ian was previously an editor for papers in Oklahoma, West Texas and for Community Impact in New Braunfels.


MOST RECENT

D'Ambrosio's #1 Pizza Pub will offer customers a friendly environment to enjoy a more contemporary style of Chicago deep-dish pizza. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
D'Ambrosio's pizzeria opens in Grapevine and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Between Nov. 15-21, Tarrant County reported 8,791 new confirmed cases and 1,047 probable cases of COVID-19. (Community Impact staff)
Tarrant County officials urge caution ahead of holidays as COVID-19 cases surge

Between Nov. 15-21, Tarrant County reported 8,791 new confirmed cases and 1,047 probable cases of COVID-19.

On Nov. 7, the state of Texas marked 20 years of daily deaths on state roadways. (Courtesy Fotolia)
TxDOT urges safe driving on Texas roads

On Nov. 7, the state of Texas marked 20 years of daily deaths on state roadways.

The Harris County Multimodal Thoroughfare Plan is a comprehensive effort to assess current and future transportation needs in unincorporated Harris County, including roads for cars and trucks, mass transit, bike lanes and pedestrian routes. (Courtesy Fotolia)
City of Keller attempting to curb accidents at North Tarrant Parkway, Lakeview Drive intersection

The city of Keller is installing a number of upgrades to the intersection of Lakeview Drive and North Tarrant Parkway.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

Fort Worth businesses will be able to pick up free masks over the next three days in downtown by presenting a business card. (Courtesy Pexels)
Free face mask distribution available for Fort Worth businesses

Businesses can pick up free masks beginning Nov. 23.

Voters can cast ballots in person until Dec. 4 for early voting or vote on election day, Dec. 8. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Everything voters need to know about voting in the Keller mayoral runoff election

Early voting began Nov. 23 for the Keller mayoral runoff election between candidates Tag Green and Armin Mizani.

Autonomous trucking firm TuSimple is coming to North Fort Worth. (Courtesy Hillwood)
Autonomous trucking firm headed to Alliance, North Fort Worth area

Autonomous trucking firm TuSimple is coming to the Alliance area in North Fort Worth near Eagle Parkway and I-35 West.

The city of Fort Worth allocated an additional $3.1 million in October for improvements to Westport Parkway from Keller-Haslet Road to Alta Vista Road and North Beach Street. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Westport Parkway, Beach Street upgrades continue in North Fort Worth

The city of Fort Worth allocated an additional $3.1 million in October.

A redevelopment project for the former Plano Market Square Mall received unanimous approval Nov. 16 from the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission. (Community Impact staff)
Plano Market Square Mall redevelopment and four more top DFW updates

Here are the five top stories from Community Impact Newspaper’s past week of Dallas-Fort Worth-area coverage.

Schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on-campus instruction if “a significant number of the instructional staff at the campus is impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak." (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency authorizes schools to close doors for 14 days due to coronavirus-related staffing concerns

Campuses can now instate a hybrid or fully remote instruction model for up to 14 days if adequate instructional staffing is not possible due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases among employees.

Roanoke winery Three Vino was forced to close for seven months at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Alcohol-serving establishments in Roanoke, Tarrant County operate with changing COVID-19 restrictions

Local bars and wineries in Roanoke and Tarrant County were permitted to reopen at 50% capacity beginning Oct. 14