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Oct. 5 last day to register to vote in Nov. 3 election

Mark Wilson

As the comical TV character Fred Sanford might say, this is The Big One, Elizabeth.

If you are not yet registered to vote in the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election, it’s simple and easy — but time is short.

The last day to register to vote is Monday, Oct. 5.

Early voting will be held at the Somervell County Annex Building, 206 Elm St. in Glen Rose. Early voting begins Tuesday, Oct. 13, and the last day of early voting will be Friday, Oct. 30. Early voting hours will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 19, then 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, and the hours return to 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for Oct. 21-24, and Oct. 26-30.

And if you are not certain whether you are already registered, there is also a quick fix for that.

A website “powered by the Texas Secretary of State” — votetexas.gov/register — has links that include “Am I Registered” as well as “Ways to Register” (online, or in person with the Somervell County Registrar), plus a list of voter eligibility requirements.

And the website also gives instructions for those who have moved, if you need to change your information online.

The Elections Administrator (registrar) for Somervell County is Christy Covey, whose office is in the County Annex Building at 107 N.E. Vernon St. in Glen Rose.

Somervell County residents who are registered can choose from any one of four locations to vote. They are:

— Somervell County Expo Center, 202 Gibbs Blvd, Glen Rose.

— Somervell County Annex, 206 Elm St., Glen Rose.

— Oakdale Park Convention Center, 1019 N.E. Barnard St., Glen Rose.

— Senior Citizen Center, 209 S.W. Barnard St., Glen Rose.

The last day to apply to receive a voting ballot my mail will be Oct. 23, 2020.

POLL LOCATIONS

Somervell County Judge Danny Chambers said that the county had applied to have the number of voting places reduced to two locations, but the Texas Secretary of State’s office ruled that there must be four despite the relatively close proximity.

“There have always been four in Somervell County, but we were trying to reduce it to make it easy on the voters,” Chambers said.

But this time there is an important difference, Chambers explained.

“This is the first time you can vote at any location,” the judge said. “It’s great for the voters of Somervell County. The county had to purchase equipment to do it. It makes it easier on the voters.”

LOCAL RACES

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation on March 18 for local elections to be postponed until the Nov. 3 General Election because of the COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

Although some of the races were, in effect, already decided by the Primary Election that was held on March 3, there are still plenty of important choices to be made in the Nov. 3 election.

CITY COUNCIL

Four of the five Glen Rose City Council seats will be decided. The regular two-year terms of three incumbents — Chris Bryant, Julia Douglas and Jack Johnson — will be in contention. All three are running for re-election, and there are also three challengers in the rather unusually large field — Randy Elmore, Kelly Harris and Dennis Moore.

In addition, a special election vote will also be on the ballot for one of the City Council seats, with incumbent Richard Vaughn running against challenger Chip Joslin. That’s because Vaughn was appointed to vote of the other Council members on Aug. 20 to fill an opening.

The current terms of Council member Johnny Martin as well as Mayor Pam Miller will expire in May 2021.

GRISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Glen Rose Independent School District has contracted with the Somervell County elections administrator to hold a joint election. That election was originally called by the GRISD Board of Trustees to be held on May 2, but it was also postponed until Nov. 3 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four candidates filed to run for three expiring at-large positions on the GRISD’s Board of Trustees.

The four candidates who will be on the ballot for those at-large spots are incumbent Jason Dillard, along with Jeff Hansen, Paul Hayes IV and Matt Langford. Dillard, first elected to the board in 2014, is currently the board’s vice president.

GRISD Board of Trustees President Kelley Snodgrass and Secretary Andy Snow decided not to seek re-election.

The remaining members of the school board are Marilyn Phillips, Paul Phillips, Tanya Myers and Jason Evans. The spots held by Marilyn Phillips and Paul Phillips will be up for re-election in 2021. The three-year terms of Myers and Evans will be up for re-election in 2022.