Election Day for a specially called election is right around the corner.
From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, registered voters can cast ballots for one of six candidates running for the Senate District 30 seat being vacated by Sen. Pat Fallon, R-Prosper.
Republicans Andy Hopper, Chris Watts, Shelley Luther, state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, and Craig Carter are on the SD-30 ballot along with Democrat Jacob Minter.
SD-30 covers Cooke, Denton, Montague, Grayson, Collin, Archer, Clay, Erath, Jack, Palo Pinto, Parker, Wichita, Wise and Young counties.
Through Thursday, Sept. 24, Cooke County Clerk Pam Harrison said there had already been about 1,500 votes cast during early voting at the Cooke County Courthouse Annex, 112 S. Dixon St. The last day for early voting was Friday, Sept. 25.
Of those who voted early, 1,481 ballots were cast using the county's ExpressVote ballot marking machines. She said the other 24 ballots were paper; however, 15 of those were from curbside voting.
Harrison expressed enthusiasm in voters using the ExpressVotes because they make a “perfectly marked ballot.”
As of Thursday, about a third of the voters who had cast ballots early in person were at least 65 years old, data from Harrison showed.
Harrison said Friday morning that her office had already received 485 ballots by mail from the 904 that were mailed out.
Poll workers will be taking extra precautions and sanitizing as much as possible to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, she said.
Wearing masks to vote is encouraged, but Harrison said she cannot force someone do so. Should someone show up to the polls without a mask and they feel more comfortable wearing one, they can get one from an election worker, Harrison said.
Harrison is also encouraging voters with symptoms associated with the coronavirus to consider voting curbside. She said there will be a phone number posted to each polling location to call for curbside assistance.
COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. It first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
There are 26,656, registered voters in Cooke County, according to information provided by Harrison.