KETR

Sand Hills Country Club Is Only July 14 Poll Location For Commerce, Fairlie Voters

Jul 13, 2020

If you’re a Commerce voter and you’re voting on July 14, there’s only one place to go: Sand Hills Golf & Country Club, 5950 Sand Hills Drive in Campbell.

The two usual polling stations – Commerce City Hall and First United Methodist Church Commerce – will not be polling locations for the July 14 elections. Both buildings are closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

A First United Methodist Church spokesperson said Monday that the building is currently closed to the public.

As for City Hall, that location might have been available July 14, but county and municipal officials couldn’t work out a solution for covering the cost of cleaning the facility after voting. The areas used would have to be cleaned and sanitized in a way that would follow protocols for COVID-19 safety, Hunt County Elections Administrator Jose Martinez said.

Commerce Interim City Manager Ned Muse and City Secretary Molly Jacobsen confirmed that.

"We are committed to the safety of our employees and the general public," Muse said.

Both city and county officials said they hoped that Commerce City Hall would be available.

“We offered them the rotunda and the council chambers,” Muse said.

On June 17, Jacobsen told Martinez that the building would be available as long as the county could cover the cost of cleaning and sanitizing the rooms following coronavirus safety protocols, Jacobsen said. Cleaning the entire building in that fashion typically costs about $3,000, so Commerce gave Hunt County a rough estimate of about $1,500 for the job, Jacobsen said.

Martinez told Jacobsen that he was “pretty sure” that the county would foot the bill, Jacobsen said. On June 17, Jacobsen agreed to confirm the amount of the estimate while Martinez would confirm that his office had funds available to cover the cost, she said.

On June 22, Martinez contacted Jacobsen with the news that the county would not be able to cover that cost, and that the county would not use Commerce City Hall as a polling location on July 14.

Speaking to KETR, Martinez emphasized that all Hunt County polling locations would be open and working for the general election on Nov. 3.

“All 34 polling places will be open,” Martinez said in reference to the November election.

Sand Hills Country Club is the usual polling location for Precinct 429, but on July 14, Precincts 426, 427, 428 and 432 – the precincts for Commerce and Fairlie – will also vote at Sand Hills.

The country club is located about halfway between Commerce and Campbell, and while its address is listed as Campbell, it’s slightly closer to the Commerce city limits, Mayor Wyman Williams said.

To get to 5950 Sand Hills Drive from Commerce, the route goes south on State Hwy. 24 for about two miles until just south of the South Sulphur River, then turns east (left) onto Maloy Road, which is also FM 1568. After about another mile along Maloy Road, Sand Hills Drive is on the right (west), right after the turn for FM 4223. Sand Hills Drive leads directly into the property of the country club.

Of the 34 polling locations in Hunt County, 12 will be open for the July 14 election. They are listed here on the county’s website. Voters will cast July 14 ballots at five Greenville locations, two in Quinlan, and one each in Caddo Mills, Celeste, Lone Oak, and Wolfe City, plus the Sand Hills Country Club poll station.

It’s common to have a reduced number of polls in runoff elections, Williams said, but in Commerce, the City Hall location is typically the one polling station in lower-turnout elections, he said.

Polls are scheduled to be open at all Hunt County polling stations 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 14.

On July 14 ballots:

• Republican Party nomination for Texas House of Representatives District 2 (Hopkins, Hunt, Van Zandt counties): Incumbent Rep. Dan Flynn of Van and challenger Bryan Slaton of Royse City. The winner will face Democratic nominee Bill Brannon of Como in November.

• Hunt County attorney: Scott Cornuaud and G. Calvin Grogan are running to replace outgoing County Attorney Joel Littlefield, who ran unopposed for the office of County Court At Law No. 2.

• Republican Party nomination for Hunt County Commissioner Precinct 1: Eric Evans vs. Mark Hutchins.

• Republican Party nomination for Hunt County Constable Precinct 1: Sandra Linson-Bell and and Richy Valenzuela. The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Glenn Stone in November.

• The Republican Party runoff race for Constable Precinct 3: Joel Gibson vs. Wade Sheets.

• Democratic Party nomination for United States Seante: Mary “MJ” Hegar vs. Royce West.

• Democratic Party candidates nominee for Railroad Commissioner: Chrysta Castañeda vs. Roberto R. “Beto” Alonzo.

For additional information, contact the Hunt County Elections Administration Office at 903-454-5467 or www.huntcounty.net/page/hunt.election or visit the Texas Secretary of State elections division website at www.votetexas.gov.