Early voters on Texas State's campus reported long wait times but effective COVID-19 safety protocols during the first two days of early voting for the 2020 election.
The first two days of early voting at the Performing Arts Center saw a total of 1,125 ballots and 29 provisional ballots cast. 575 ballots were cast the first day, and 550 were cast the second.
Provisional ballots are ballots cast when a voter's eligibility is in question, such as when a voter has an incorrect address due to moving near the voter registration deadline. If these ballots are later considered ineligible, they will not be counted.
Students saw long lines and wait times of up to 45 minutes, causing frustration among some voters that arrived both early and late in the day. Gus Connell, senior human development major, wants the LBJ Student Center opened as a second voting location as it was in previous years.
“I think there definitely needs to be another [voting] location available; I came from the other side of campus and had to walk all the way here and wait in a line. For a lot of people, it’s really out of the way, and there needs to be another location at LBJ,” Connell said.
Despite the long wait, some voters were happy to see the precautions being taken to keep voters safe from possible COVID-19 transmission. Voters were given a stylus to prevent touching of screens and were kept at a distance from others inside the PAC. Elisha Mack, a senior fashion merchandising major, says she felt comfortable outside and inside the PAC.
“[COVID safety] was very good; I like how we were all spread out and the social distancing stickers on the floor for people to keep their distance while waiting in line,” Mack said.
Early voting will continue on Texas State's campus every day until Oct. 30. Early voting times at the PAC are as follows:
- Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sunday: 1-6 p.m.
The PAC will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the final week of early voting Oct. 26-30 and on Election Day Nov. 3.
For voting locations and times in San Marcos, visit Texas State's voter information webpage.