05 22 2015

Election Is Canvassed; More GOP Straight Ticket Votes Cast

By Terry Britt
Staff Writer
More Van Zandt County voters opted for a straight ticket vote in the Republican Party than in the General Election four years ago.
“We had more straight party votes in the GOP, by about 2,000, compared to the 2008 election,” Van Zandt County Clerk Charlotte Bledsoe said Thursday.
She noted that increase was coupled with a decrease of about 1,000 in straight ticket votes for the Democratic Party, when compared to the 2008 General Election.
On Thursday morning, Van Zandt County Commissioners canvassed the Nov. 6 election totals, making the counts official.
The total number of votes cast — 19,614 — came a bit short of 2008’s mark of 20,543. Still, that turnout was for a November election with just one countywide office and one precinct office contested.
“Election Day turnout was about where I expected it to be at each of the polling locations,” Bledsoe said.
“Wills Point, Grand Saline and Edom are still the three largest polling locations and they were the ones where we had lines of voters waiting when the polls closed at 7 p.m.,” she added. “Nothing changed from four years ago about that.”
In the two local contested races, Lindsay Ray, the Republican candidate, won the four-year term as Van Zandt County Sheriff with 15,526 votes to top Democratic candidate Deborah Davis with 3,301.
Brandon Brown, also a Republican, becomes the new Precinct 1 Commissioner, beginning in January, after defeating Democratic candidate O.D. Hazel, 3,154 to 1,280.
Local officials elected without opposition included Shirley Chisham for Tax Assessor/Collector, Bobby Chaney for Precinct 3 Commissioner, Mickey Henson for Precinct 1 Constable, C.B. Wiley for Precinct 2 Constable, Robert Tisdale for Precinct 3 Constable and Pat Jordan for Precinct 4 Constable.
More than 8,000 voters in the county cast their ballots during the 10-day early voting period.
Bledsoe said early voting seemed busier in this most recent election than in 2008, but she chalked that up to an increase in provisional ballots and limited ballots.
Of 150 provisional ballots cast, only five wound up in the official count.
Thirty-seven limited ballots were counted. Limited ballots are for voters who live in a county other than the one in which they are registered. They are allowed to vote only in races that would apply to both counties, such as federal and some state elections, Bledsoe explained.

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