WAXAHACHIE — A new chapter in the history of Ellis County began Friday as the new county elections office was formally dedicated with a ribbon cutting. The new building provides residents with a spacious facility where they can register to vote or cast their ballot, while the building also honors the history blacksmith shop that once stood on the site through its construction and architecture.

“I think that the community can take pride in what this building is and the fact that we have been able to preserve some of our history of the old blacksmith shop. We took the design and the form and incorporated those elements and some of the physical elements. The tin, the wood and some of the rafters were actually in the old historic blacksmith shop and were brought it to life in a new efficient building for the voters,” County Judge Carol Bush said. “One of the things that I always have been proudest of as we have grown and moved out of that beautiful historic courthouse and transitioned to a new modern building is that we been able to preserve our past.”

Bush said she is very proud to have been a part of this project and to oversee its completion. The new elections building will not only preserve the past, but it will help to accommodate the future growth that is taking place in the county.

According to a plaque on the building, the new elections building design reflects the size and form of the old blacksmith shop built in the early 1900’s.

State Representative John Wray presented Elections Administrator Jana Onyon with a Texas flag that flew over the Capitol building in honor of the new facility. Wray shared Bush’s thoughts about the importance of this building and what it will provide to residents.

“I think that we get to live and work in one of the best places on Earth. The fact that secret is out and Ellis County is growing. This building is another indicator of the growth of our county, and local government is doing a great job in keeping up with that growth,” Wray said. “Once again it is exciting that we are looking towards the future but keeping an eye on the past. This building is a great indicator of that.”

Onyon said the new building would be a great resource for years to come.

“This is going to be providing space for our elections so we can be ready to vote on Nov. 8 and in any other following elections that are coming up. It will be able to house all of the voters that come here during early voting,” Onyon said. “The two weeks of early voting is a very big turnout for Ellis. This building will facilitate those voters better. We are excited to be in this historical location of having the blacksmith’s shop and now being the elections office.”

Onyon said since January there had been approximately 8,000 people who have come to register to vote.

“I think that is just the election that is coming up and people just (want) to come out to vote. We have a lot of first-time voters that have applied. So it has been awesome,” Onyon said.

The Ellis County Elections Office is located at 204 E. Jefferson St. in Waxahachie. The office is open 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. The staff can be reached at 972-825-5195.

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