LIVE UPDATES: Nearly 70% of mail-in ballots have been received in Collin County

Voting lines were light on Election Day at the poll located at Plano ISD Administration Center. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Voting lines were light on Election Day at the poll located at Plano ISD Administration Center. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

Voting lines were light on Election Day at the poll located at Plano ISD Administration Center. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Nov. 3 is Election Day. Collin County voters are turning out in high numbers. (Community Impact staff)
Editor's Note: This post will be updated throughout the day.

Posted at 6:17 p.m.

Nearly 70% of 45,426 mail-in ballots have been received by Collin County, Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet said on Tuesday. Almost 5,000 voters surrendered their mail-in ballots at a polling place, opting to vote in-person instead, Sherbet said. There is also a number of voters who cast ballots provisionally at polling places because their mail-in ballot was discarded or not received; however, Sherbet does not yet know how many provisional ballots were cast.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 4 to be counted. Ballots sent from outside the U.S. must be received by Nov. 9. The nonprofit Vote America has released an online tool that tracks ballots that have arrived at elections offices across Texas. This will allow voters to check whether their mail-in ballot has been received.

Posted at 4:15 p.m.


Collin County had seen 26,793 residents turn out to vote as of 3:20 p.m., which is lower than expected, Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet said.

"We've had a slower day than I was hoping for," he said. "I was hoping to get at least 50,000 today. I'm not saying we can't, but we are about three and a half hours until close, so that's kind of optimistic on my part."

Sherbet said the process on Election Day has gone smoothly. Machines have been working well and lines have been fast, though it is likely that voter traffic will pick up between 5-7 p.m.

"I think people can still go and be in and out in less than 20 minutes, but that's probably going to be the heaviest hour[s] for turnout."

Gavin McLeod, a Frisco resident who voted in mid-afternoon at the Collin College Preston Ridge campus, said he waited to vote until Election Day because he was confident the lines would be short. He said he is more invested in down-ballot races than in the presidential election.

"At the end of the day, there's only so much government can do, whoever is in office. I worry more about the Senate and the Supreme Court than the office of the president," he said. "Four years ago, I didn't think there was a great candidate, and I don't know if there is a great candidate now. ... I don't necessarily align with any party."

Mike Rawlins, chair of the Collin County Democratic Party, said he expects total turnout to land somewhere between 70%-80% once polls close. Despite a slower Election Day, he said this outcome is favorable for his party.

"We are kind of at a point where we've done everything we can do," he said. "Generally, higher turnout has been better for Democrats, so we are feeling optimistic."

The Collin County GOP also feels good about how things have played out, Executive Director Neal Katz said. He said his team will spend the next few hours making sure everyone gets to the polls. Then, he plans to settle in for a "very long night."

"It's a major election; it's an important election," he said. "Both sides are energized and pumped up here in Collin County. ... I am very encouraged by turnout because you want to see people participate in the process, no matter what party you're in.

Residents of Collin County can vote at any countywide polling location on Election Day. Polls are open until 7 p.m. Voters who are in line by 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.

For a map of polling locations that includes estimated wait times, visit this link.

Posted at 1:07 p.m.

Lines at the polls in Collin County have been light on Election Day, and some campaign workers have speculated that is due to the high turnout during early voting this year.

"Initially, at all the sites I've been to, they had a line first-thing. Then, once that dissipated, it's been pretty slow, simply because I think so many people early voted," said Celia Byrnes, a campaign volunteer who was camped out at the Plano ISD Administration Center. "There's not a lot left in the barrel to scrape."

Chris Tingey, a Collin County resident who voted at the administration center around noon, said he chose to wait until Election Day because he does not mind long lines. He said he was pleasantly surprised by how quickly voting went.

"Everyone was voting early, and I just said I was going to vote day-of," Tingey said. "I didn't wait at all; I was in and out."

Byrnes, who is also a Denton County registrar, said she has registered approximately 2,000 voters since Jan. 1. She believes high turnout this election is a good sign for Democratic candidates.

"Texas is not a red state; It's a non-voting state. So I feel the most effective thing I can do is register voters and get them out to the polls," said Byrnes, who was volunteering for the campaign of Lorenzo Sanchez, the Democrat running against incumbent state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano. "I think Texas will turn blue either this time or next time."

Sarah Avitua, a campaign volunteer for Leach, said she has been helping to re-elect the lawmaker, who is a personal friend. She said his last re-election campaign was close, but that she is hopeful the night will end in his favor.

"We hope to win, but it's a hard fight," she said. "He's done a great job for the district, and we are hoping to see him for two more years at least."

Residents of Collin County can vote at any countywide polling location on Election Day. Polls are open until 7 p.m. Voters who are in line by 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.

For a map of polling locations that includes estimated wait times, visit this link.

Posted 10:17 a.m.

Nearly 13,000 people have turned out to vote so far in Collin County this morning, according to Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet. By end of day, Sherbet expects between 50,000-60,000 residents to vote, which, combined with early votes would put the total at around 510,000, or roughly 78% of registered voters.

"That would definitely be more than the last six presidential elections," he said. "I bet it's probably the highest we have for some time on record."

As of the last day of early voting, 448,806 Collin County residents had voted either by mail or in person, which is 45% more than the 301,939 residents who voted early in 2016, according to the Texas secretary of state.

Residents of Collin County can vote at any countywide polling location on Election Day. Polls are open until 7 p.m. Voters who are in line by 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.

For a map of polling locations that includes estimated wait times, visit this link.

Community Impact Newspaper will post election stories throughout the day Nov. 3 and will start posting results after polls close at 7 p.m. Follow coverage at www.communityimpact.com/vote.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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