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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Elections officials continue to adhere to health safety protocols during the last days of early voting, which ends Friday, and will have specific plans in place for voters who cast ballots on Election Day, Tuesday, July 14.
According to Childress County Clerk Barbara Spitzer, voters will need to follow certain protocols when they show up to vote in the primary run-off election.
Spitzer wants voters, when feasible, to maintain at least six feet separation from other individuals at the polling location. In addition, other measures such as hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness and sanitation should be practiced.
Spitzer also encourages voters to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before showing up at any of the polling sites. She said symptoms may include any combination of a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees and known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19.
Anyone who exhibits any of these symptoms may want to consider utilizing curbside voting. These voters should contact their county election office with questions about the process and requirements, she said.
Voters also should consider bringing their own pen or pencil to use when checking in to vote and for marking their ballot, Spitzer said. Voters should contact their county election office to determine what type of marking devices are appropriate.
Voters should wash or disinfect hands with their own hand sanitizer after entering a polling place, interaction with election workers, poll watchers or other individuals and after using voting system equipment or marking a ballot, she said.
Spitzer suggests voters wear cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth) when entering the polling place or when within six feet of another person who is not a member of the individual’s household.
If an election judge is not able to determine the identity of a voter wearing a face covering, the voter should be prepared to lower or remove the face covering when checking in, Spitzer said.
If a voter contracts COVID-19 – or other conditions that prevents the voter from appearing without the need of a personal assistance or of injuring the voter’s health – the voter should contact the county election officer for more details about submitting an Application for Emergency Early Voting Ballot Due to Sickness or Physical Disability.
In addition, Spitzer wants individuals aged 65 or older to know they are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Therefore, she suggests these voters consider submitting an Application for a Ballot by Mail to their county election officer so that they can receive a blank ballot and return their voted ballot by mail. Mail-in ballots are due on Election Day.
On the Republican ballot, Ronny Jackson and Josh Winegarner are running for U.S. Representative, District 13. Larry Doss and Steven Denny are running for Justice, 7th Court of Appeals District, Place 4, Unexpired Term.
On the Democratic ballot, Royce West and Mary “MJ” Hegar are running for U.S. Senator. Gus Trujillo and Greg Sagan are running for U.S. Representative, District 13. Chrysta Castaneda and Robert R. “Beto” Alonzo are running for Railroad Commissioner.
Early voting polls are open 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., July 8-9 and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on July 10 at the County Clerk’s office in suite 4 on the second floor of the Childress County Courthouse, located at 100 Ave. E NW.
On Election Day, polling places in Childress:
- Precinct 101 – Housing Authority, 407 Ave. B NW;
- Precinct 201 – Church of Christ Fellowship Hall, 210 Second St. SE;
- Precinct 401 – Fair Park City Auditorium Foyer, located in Fair Park, and the Housing Authority at 1709 Ave. I NW