Early voting starts Oct. 24 

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TRI-COUNTY — Early voting for the November 8 General Election starts soon on Monday, October 24, and runs weekdays through Friday, November 4, with a number of polling locations throughout the Big Bend region. 

Voters across Texas will elect state leaders including the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, land commissioner and agriculture commissioner — who all serve four-year terms. Members of the Railroad Commission, who regulate the state’s oil and gas industry, among other duties, are up for election for six-year terms. District-based representatives including U.S. representatives, state senators, state representatives and members of the State of Education are up for election. Local positions including county judge, county commissioners, county treasurer and more are also up for election. 

Citizens must bring a valid form of identification to polling places when voting. Valid forms of ID include a Texas driver’s license, Texas election ID certificate, Texas personal ID card, Texas handgun license, U.S. military ID with photo, U.S. citizenship certification with photo, or a U.S. passport. Voters without one of the acceptable listed forms of identification may still be able to vote — more information can be found at the secretary of state’s website

To vote by mail, citizens must request a ballot from the secretary of state’s office by October 28. Ballots must be postmarked or delivered to their local county’s elections office by 7 p.m. November 8. Voter registration ended October 11. To see if you are registered to vote visit the secretary of state’s website

Presidio County 

Early voting in Presidio County will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. October 24 through November 4 at the Marfa Visitors Center/USO Building and the Presidio County Annex Building C. Both locations will serve residents in Precincts 1 through 7, or all Presidio County residents, for early voting. 

On Election Day, November 8, polling locations throughout Presidio County will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Marfa Visitor’s Center will serve residents from Precincts 1 and 7. The Presidio Activity Center will serve Precinct 2 voters. The Presidio County Annex Building C will serve Precincts 3 and 4 voters. The American Legion in Presidio will serve Precinct 5 and 7 voters. Sample ballots will be posted on the county website soon, according to the county clerk. 

Local positions on the ballot include County Judge, for which incumbent Cinderela Guevara — who switched parties during last December’s candidate filing period to run as a Republican — face off against Democrat Jose Portillo Jr. The race for County Commissioner Precinct 4 will see Democrat David Beebe run against Republican Garey Willbanks. County Commissioner Precinct 2 is an uncontested race with Democrat Margarito Hernandez, who also serves as Presidio’s police chief, the only candidate having beat out Abel “Billy” Hernandez in the primary election. 

Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Democrat Dina Jo Marquez will run unopposed, as will Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 incumbent Democrat Juanita Urias Bishop. The race for County Treasurer will see incumbent Democrat Frances Garcia — who was sued for alleged retaliation by former employee Katie Sanchez, a legal battle which concluded with a $700,000 settlement paid to Sanchez and her attorney, ultimately covered by the county’s insurers —  run against Republican David Chavez. Incumbent Democrat Florcita Zubia is running for District/County Clerk unopposed. 

Voters within the boundaries of the Marfa Independent School District will also see a school bond initiative on the ballot, a $57 million proposal for a new K-12 school, career and technology addition to the high school and other district-wide improvements. The district will raise school property taxes to pay off the bond within a period of 30 years. 

The Big Bend Sentinel will continue its coverage of the school bond and publish candidate questionnaires for select races in Presidio County ahead of early voting. 

Brewster County 

Early voting in Brewster County will take place at the Judge Val Clark Beard Office Complex (Old Library) 203 N 7th St., Alpine. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, October 24, and Monday, October 31. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 25, through Friday, October 28, and Tuesday, November 1, through Friday, November 4. 

Remote early voting will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 2 and 3 at the Marathon Community Center for Precinct 3 residents, the Panther Junction Visitor Center, Big Bend National Park, for Precinct 5 residents and J.W. “Red” Pattillo Community Center, Terlingua, for Precinct 6 and 7 residents. 

On Election Day, November 8, voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Precinct 1 voters can cast their ballots at the Assembly of God Fellowship Hall, across from Alpine High School, 1802 N Hwy 118, Alpine. Precinct 2 voters can cast their ballots at the Judge Val Clark Beard Office Complex (Old Library), 203 N 7th St., Alpine. Precinct 3 voters can cast their ballots at the Marathon Community Center, 2nd and Ave E, Marathon. Precinct 4 voters can cast their ballots at the Alpine Civic Center-Council Chambers, 803 W Holland, Alpine. Precinct 5 voters can cast their ballots at the Panther Junction Visitor Center, Big Bend National Park. Precinct 6 and 7 voters can cast their ballots at the J.W. “Red” Pattillo Community Center, Terlingua. And Precinct 8 voters can cast their ballots at the Food Pantry of Alpine, 933 East Gallego Ave., Alpine.

Notably, voters in Brewster County this year will select a new county judge — the county’s top position, which presides over the commissioners court. Republican Greg Hennington will face off against Democrat Oscar Cobos. County Commissioner Precinct 2 is a race between incumbent Democrat Sara Colando and Republican Mark Chiles. Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 will see Republican Paul Rashott running against Democrat Tim Relleva. There are also Marathon ISD School Board members up for election. All other races in Brewster County are uncontested.

To view a sample ballot, visit brewstercountytx.com/vote/ 

Jeff Davis County 

Early voting in Jeff Davis County will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays from October 24 to November 4 at the Jeff Davis County District and County Clerk’s office located in the county courthouse on 111 N. Front St., Fort Davis. 

On Election Day November 8 voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Precinct 1, 2 and 3 voters will cast their ballots at the Jeff Davis County Community Center, 601 E Cemetery Road, Fort Davis, Precinct 4 voters at the Valentine Community Building, North Main and Eighth Street, Valentine, and Precinct 5 voters at the Davis Mountains Resort Baptist Church, 101 Broken Arrow Trail, Fort Davis. 

In Jeff Davis County, current County Judge Curtis Evans, a Republican, is running unopposed to continue his role. County Commissioner Precinct 2 is a race between incumbent Democrat Todd Jagger and Republican Roy Hurley. County Commissioner Precinct 4 is a race between incumbent Democrat Albert Miller and Republican Royce Laskoskie. All other races in Jeff Davis County are uncontested. 

To view a sample ballot, visit co.jeff-davis.tx.us/page/jeffdavis.Elections 

Editor’s note:  This article has been updated to clarify that the $700,000 settlement in the lawsuit brought against Frances Garcia was paid for by the county’s insurers.