One of the words we've gotten used to hearing during the pandemic is 'curbside', an option for picking up food that has probably kept more than a few restaurants alive and kicking these last few months.

But what about curbside voting?

That option will be available to El Paso voters when Texas begins early voting next Tuesday, Oct. 13.

We were happy to get the opportunity to speak with El Paso County Elections Administrator Lisa R. Wise, in part because the county elections department has been going full-tilt, seven days a week since Labor Day. As you can imagine, Wise has been extremely busy.

Still, she took the time to talk to us about the unique challenge of wrangling what could be record-breaking voter turnout in the midst of a pandemic that again seems to be picking up steam in El Paso.

Rest assured, the El Paso County Elections Department is doing everything it can to make in-person voting as safe as possible while encouraging those who qualify for mail-in voting to do so.

But for those who don't qualify for a mail-in ballot, there are any number of voting options, including more time allotted for early voting at an increased number of locations around the county, including seven curbside polls at:

  • Bassett Place, 6101 Gateway Blvd. West
  • The El Paso County Coliseum, 4100 E. Paisano Dr.
  • Marty Robbins Recreation Center, 11620 Vista Del Sol Dr.
  • Arlington Park Shelter, 10350 Pasadena Circle
  • Officer David Ortíz Recreation Center, 563 N. Carolina Dr.
  • Sunland Park Mall, 750 Sunland Park Dr.
  • Oz Glaze Senior Center, 13969 Veny Webb St. in Horizon City

Voters who wish to vote curbside must bring their ID, but poll workers will handle the rest. As long as you're in line before the polls close each day you will be allowed to vote.

Check out all the early voting locations around the county here, or go to epcountyvotes.com.

The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Friday, Oct. 23rd, and it must be postmarked by Nov. 3rd to be counted. But if you want to drop off your mail-in ballot in person, the county elections office has set up a drop-off point on Campbell Street, on the east side of the county courthouse. A slew of election workers will be there to receive your ballot. Just remember, you must present your ballot in person, with ID.

Wise also talked about the importance of planning how you'll vote. With turnout that could top the record 51 percent of registered voters who showed up in 2016, you might find longer than normal lines, so voters should be prepared.

To accommodate those who might be at work, some locations will be open until 10 p.m. Check epcountyvotes.com for locations and times.

A unique function of the website also allows voters to fill out a sample ballot which they can take with them into the polling locations.

Click here if you're a registered voter to input your information and create a sample ballot specific to your address and precinct. Fill it out beforehand, take it with you to the polls, and you'll be ready to fill out your actual ballot quickly and easily to cut down on the time you spend at the polling location.

Regardless of how, when or where you vote, the El Paso County Elections Department will be keeping touch points to a minimum, adhering to social distancing guidelines, sanitizing voting stations, offering masks, as well as a small voter's kit with wipes, a Q-tip stylus or a disposable finger pillow to use on the touchscreens and more, including an "I Voted" sticker.

For more information, go to epcountyvotes.com, or call 915.546.2154.