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Smith County voters, ballots protected amid election season

"Elections here are very well run, they're secure and I would encourage other voters to get out and vote," said Thomas Thompson, Smith County voter.

SMITH COUNTY, Texas — Election safety and security are top of mind for many voters, and Texas has changed the law to try to address their concerns. 

Smith County election workers want to remind voters of the safety measures in place to keep the public and ballots protected. 

According to Michelle Allcon, more than 30,000 Smith County residents have cast their ballots since early voting began October 24. 

"Please come out to vote," Allcon said. "We want every voter in Smith County to come out and actually vote." 

Allcon said not only should voters know which documents to bring to the polls, but also the safety measures in place. 

"We are continuing what the law states, which is focusing on the protection of both the ballots and the people within the polling place," Allcon said. 

Allcon says election workers play a huge role in keeping voters safe. 

"They're talking to voters if there is someone who's aggravated," Allcon said. "A lot of times it just takes listening to the voter (and) walking them through the situation is enough to the diffuse the situation." 

Allcon said often times the anger is centered around not understanding certain questions on the ballot like uncontested candidates. 

"They're thinking they're being forced to vote for them, which they're not," Allcon said. 

While Texas does have an open carry law, firearms are prohibited at voting locations. 

Thomas Thompson, Smith County voter, cast his ballot Monday. He said he felt secure. 

"Elections here are very well run, they're secure and I would encourage other voters to get out and vote," Thompson said. 

When the ballot box fills up, votes are secured with the help of sheriff's deputies. 

"All of those ballot transfers are happening in the presence of a member of the sheriff's office, and we don't choose that person, they're randomly assigned to us," Allcon said.

Jan Barrett, Smith County voter said she trusts that her vote and yours will be kept safely and counted properly.

"I'm not concerned about the fraud and the problems that people are claiming, but the courts are saying no there hasn't been that problem," Barrett said. 

Early voting ends on Friday, November 4 at 7 p.m. 

RELATED: Smith County has seen a good turnout for early voting

RELATED: EAST TEXAS ELECTION EXPERTS: Nov. 8 election races, early voting locations and times

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