Brazoria County elections staff is prepared for one of the most stacked elections in years as early voting begins today.
May’s municipal elections were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning those races are on a combined ballot with the general election Nov. 3. An extended early voted period goes through Oct. 30.
“We’ve got everything taken care of and plenty of poll workers,” Voter Registrar Angelica McConathy said.
Elections staff believes the first few days of early voting will bring heavy traffic, she said, since many people like to be the “first one there.”
“We’re expecting the first few days to be very fulfilling,” McConathy said.
While picking the person for the top political office — Republican President Donald Trump or Democrat and former Vice President Joe Biden — will draw many voters to the polls, a number of local municipalities will also get a new top leader after this election.
Lake Jackson and Jones Creek will both get new mayors since their incumbents are not seeking reelection. Longtime Councilman Gerald Roznovsky and business owner Fred Ortiz are on the ballot in Lake Jackson while Alderman Terry Jeffers will face political newcomer Marcy Krampota in Jones Creek.
The county will also get a new tax assessor-collector for the first time in decades since Ro’Vin Garrett is retiring. Republican Kristin Bulanek and Democrat Andrew Bell are seeking the seat.
Some local judges retired or vacated their seats early. This leaves Republican Courtney Gilbert facing Democrat Terence Norman for County Court-at-Law No. 1 judge and Republican Sarah Linder facing Democrat F.J. Jones for Precinct 4, Place 1 Justice of the Peace.
Numerous residents have signed up to run for school boards, city councils, drainage districts and more.
Poll workers are implementing social distancing guidelines to keep voters safe, McConathy said. Masks are strongly encouraged, she said.
Voters should remember they can’t wear political T-shirts — or masks — when they go to vote, McConathy said.
Brazoria County is offering a curbside option for people who cannot physically walk in and stand long enough to vote, she said.
Anyone participating in that should pull into the designated curbside spot at the polling location, then call the elections office at 979-864-1662 to answer questions and verify they qualify for curbside voting, McConathy said. If they meet the requirements, the elections office will notify the polling location to bring a vote pad out to them, she said.
County residents can vote at any of the 10 early voting locations or 35 Election Day locations. Election Day is Nov. 3.