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Election 2020: What You Need to Know

By Joshua Baethge
For the Van Alstyne Leader
Polls on election day open at 7 a.m.

The end is finally in sight. After an unprecedented election season fought under to specter of a pandemic, residents will finally go to the polls and cast their votes.

Actually, a record number of Texans have already gone to the polls. For those who haven’t yet, early voting ends at 7 p.m. Friday.  After that, their last chance to have their voices heard will be on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters must present a valid photo I.D. before casting their ballots. There will be 25 voting locations across Grayson County. Voters registered in the county may go to any one of them.  

Van Alstyne’s lone voting location is the Grayson College South Campus, Room SB 113, located at 1455 West Van Alstyne Parkway.   The Howe Community Center at 700 West Haning Street has been converted into a voting spot as well.  

There are also seven polling places in Sherman, five in Denison, and one each in Bells, Collinsville, Gordonville, Gunter, Pottsboro, Sadler, Southmayd, Tioga, Tom Bean, Whitesboro and Whitewright.

While the presidential election has obviously garnered most of the attention, there are contests on practically every other level of the government as well.

On the national stage, Republican incumbent John Cornyn will look to hold off a challenge from Democrat MJ Hegar in the race for US Senate. Republican Pat Fallon is the favorite against Democrat Russell Foster to be the District 4 congressman.  The US House of Representatives seat was vacated in May after Jon Ratcliffe resigned to become the Director of National Intelligence.

On the state level Republican incumbent Reggie Smith squares-off against Democrat challenger Gary D. Thomas for the District 62 State Representative seat.  James “Jim” Wright faces democrat Chrysta Castañeda in a race to join the three-member Railroad Commission that regulates the state’s oil and gas industry.  Wright beat current commissioner Ryan Sitton in the Republican primary.

There are also four seats on the state supreme court up for grabs, multiple judicial positions and one state school board race.

There are no competitive races on the county level.  Republican candidates for Sheriff, County Tax Assessor-Collector, County Commissioner, Justice of the Peace and Constable are all running unopposed.

Van Alstyne does not have local elections this year.  In Howe, voters will get to choose two school board seats from among four candidates: Current trustee Clint Catching, Jeff Dailey, Charles Haley and Lisa Tibbets.