(ROCKWALL, TX – August 30, 2018) During its regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 27, the Rockwall County Commissioners Court welcomed Elections Administrator Chris Lynch to discuss early voting locations for the Nov. 6 General Election.
Based on several different factors, Lynch proposed going with only three early voting locations: Heath City Hall, Rockwall County Library and Fate City Hall. This would eliminate the other two locations for early voting the county had in place during the March 6, 2018 Primary election (Royse City City Hall and Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary School in Rowlett).
Lynch said based on population and voter trends, Fate City Hall makes the most sense as an early voting location for the voters in Precinct 4.
“It’s been my recommendation that when I look at the areas of Fate and Royse City, understanding what’s happening with growth and looking at the facilities there, Fate City Hall is the best location and option for the folks who live in that part of the county,” Lynch said. “The numbers bear that out as far as when and where folks go to vote, and the facility itself is more accommodating to folks as they get in and out of that building.”
One of the main reasons Lynch said he did not include Cullins-Lake Pointe had to do with child safety.
“The very first day of early voting in the March Primary, we had an angry gentleman who refused to leave the building until, in the interest of child safety, a peace officer was placed on site. I think there’s goodness in the idea that the kids can see folks doing their civic duty and voting. But to ask us to be in a school for two weeks straight during early voting I think is a big ask.”
Cost was another big factor in his recommendation to go with three locations instead of five for the upcoming General Election. Lynch said the cost for staffing alone for all five locations in the March Primary totaled $30,000.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Cliff Sevier spoke in favor of keeping Cullins-Lake Pointe as an early voting location for the November election. He said with a $50,270,000 Rockwall County Jail expansion bond going on the General Election ballot, it’s important for voters on the Rowlett side of the county to have an equal opportunity to be able to vote early.
“We’re getting ready to have a vote on a bond for the Rockwall County Jail, and it’s going to affect those living on the Rowlett side in Precinct 1 just as much as our library affected them when they voted on that bond. Now we have a library that they pay taxes on.
“I think Chris is doing the right thing by looking at the money aspect of it and the cost to man it. But we have to be able to step out and say we appreciate that, but we want to go the extra mile. If it costs us more to do that, then we need to pay that so that those people have the same opportunity to vote. Whether we’re getting 50 votes come out of there or 1,000 votes, those voters still have the same rights as everybody else.”
County Judge David Sweet felt the importance of the upcoming election races and the jail bond emphasized the need for five early voting locations.
“Based on the idea that there is so much that’s on the ballot this time, I would be in support of all five of the locations,” Sweet said. “There are contested races on the ballot from Washington, D.C., to Austin, Texas and obviously here in Rockwall County. There’s also a big decision for the voters of Rockwall County as it relates to the bond for the County Jail. I do want to encourage folks to participate in early voting, and if you can’t, then vote on Election Day.”
Sweet made a motion to approve an order calling for a General Election as presented in relations to items on the ballot and hours of operation on November 6, 2018, with a recommendation to the Elections Administrator to include the Rockwall County Library, Heath City Hall, Fate City Hall, Royse City City Hall, and Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary as early voting locations. The motion passed unanimously.
Early voting for the Nov. 6 General Election runs from Oct. 22 to Nov. 2 at the following locations:
- Rockwall County Library (1215 E. Yellowjacket Ln., Rockwall, TX 75087)
- Heath City Hall (200 Laurence Dr., Heath, TX 75032)
- Fate City Hall (1900 CD Boren Pkwy, Rockwall, TX 75087)
- Royse City City Hall (200 N. Arch St., Royse City, TX 75189)
- Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary School (5701 Scenic Dr., Rowlett, TX 75088)
Early voting hours for those locations are:
- , Tues., Wed., and Friday – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- , Oct. 27 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- , Oct. 28 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
NOTE: The only location for early voting on Sunday, Oct. 28 is the Rockwall County Library.
The Rockwall County Elections Office will be open the same hours as early voting.
Submitted press release.
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