Updated: More than 11,000 voters turn out to polls in Plano for first day of early voting

Wait times were around 30 minutes at Plano's Davis Library following the first wave of voters in the morning of Oct. 13. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wait times were around 30 minutes at Plano's Davis Library following the first wave of voters in the morning of Oct. 13. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Wait times were around 30 minutes at Plano's Davis Library following the first wave of voters in the morning of Oct. 13. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Plano ISD's Shiloh Center is serving as an early voting location for the first time this year. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Voters are encouraged to keep a 6-foot distance from one another, causing lines to stretch farther than they typically would with the same amount of people. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Shiloh Center has eight voting machines available as well as a curbside voting machine and a provisional ballot machine. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Voters are encouraged to keep a 6-foot distance from one another, causing lines to stretch farther than they typically would with the same amount of people. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Parking spaces marked for curbside voting include a sign with instructions for voters to call for assistance. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Wait times were around 30 minutes at Plano's Davis Library following the first wave of voters in the morning of Oct. 13. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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More than 1,000 voters visited Plano ISD's Administration Building to vote on the first day of early voting. (Liesbeth Powes/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Masks are strongly encouraged for voters but are not required. Collin County is providing masks for voters who do not have one , according to election judges. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
During the last presidential election, Lee Ann Bolton assisted voters at Parr Library. This time around, she has moved to the Plano ISD Administration Building but said lines are just as long as in 2016.

"I used to work at Parr, and yes, this is par for the course," Bolton said.

Poll workers at the administration building saw 1,169 voters on the first day of early voting Oct. 13, she said. Of those, nearly 40 used curbside voting, which is available to voters unable to enter the polling place because they are sick or disabled. Each polling location in Collin County has designated parking spots for curbside voters who call a number on a sign to receive assistance.

"I did curbside voting all day long," Bolton said.

Those who camped outside Davis Library to cast ballots first thing in the morning started off with a nearly two-hour wait. After the first round of voters cleared out, wait times remained around 30 minutes, Election Judge Semida Voicu said.


As one of Collin County's busiest polling locations, Davis Library was equipped with 30 voting machines in a room to the side of the library's entrance, Voicu said. Poll workers also left entrance and exit doors open to keep people moving through the process, she said. Davis Library saw the most voters out of the 11 polling locations in Plano, with just over 1,500 votes Oct. 13, according to Collin County's poll summary for the day.

The first and final days of voting are always the busiest, but voters should not have too much of a wait on other days, Voicu said.

Sharon Davallu said she made her way in and out of the polling booth at Davis Library in about 20 minutes. The process went smoothly, and by prioritizing voting on Day 1, she said she avoids having other things come up that could keep her from coming out later, Davallu said.

"It's super important to do these types of things," Davallu said. "[We're] just doing it the first day and writing it off and hoping things will happen."

In southeast Plano, the Plano ISD Shiloh Center was available as a polling place for the first time and saw close to 300 voters by 4 p.m., Election Judge Jeff Totaro said.

"[That is] more than I expected for the first day of early voting," he said. "People aren't familiar with [the location] to know to come. But we are on a busy street, people see our sign."

As early voting continues, Totaro is confident more people will notice the center on their way to school, the grocery store and work, he said.

Eight voters who had previously elected to vote by mail came to the Shiloh Center wanting to vote in-person instead. With the mail-ballot in hand, the process to switch to in-person voting takes no more than 5 minutes, Totaro said. Those who come in without their ballot must vote provisionally, a process that takes closer to 30 minutes, he said.

Kristopher Phillips was the last voter allowed into the PISD Administration building Oct. 13. He typically chooses to vote early, and at the end of the day it took only 10 minutes to get in and out of the building, he said.

"It's just much more convenient," Phillips said. "There's less people; there's less fight."

There were 11,399 Collin County votes were made at Plano polling locations Oct. 13, the county reported. In all of Collin County, there were 39,372 votes counted at the county's 43 early voting locations.

Dallas County saw the largest number of votes in the North Texas area, with 59,905 votes on the first day of early voting. Tarrant County saw the second highest count with 47,944, and longer wait times at some polls.

Collin and Denton county voters are able to vote at any location in their respective counties during early voting, Oct. 13-30, and on Election Day, Nov. 3. There are no Denton County early voting locations within Plano. More information on early voting and polling locations can be found here.

Community Impact Newspaper will continue to provide timely, accurate updates to our readers during this election season. For more election coverage, visit our voter guide.
By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano and Richardson, including Plano City Council and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


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