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'It's official' - May 29 Primary Election

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

The already long hot political season just got a little hotter and longer - but at least there's now an end in sight.

As reported in the Thursday, Feb. 23, edition of the Bandera County Courier, the Primary Election has been set for Tuesday, May 29. Despite threats of new litigation over Texas' redistricting maps, Bandera County Election Administrator Toba Perez-Wright said gratefully, "The dates are now official. The order came down from the federal courts."

And, even more importantly, the dates for early voting have also been set - Monday, May 14 to Friday, May 25.

The run-off election is slated for Tuesday, July 31. Additionally, a second candidate-filing period in effect now will end on Friday, March 9. However, according to Bandera County Republican Party Chairman Ed Hodges, no new candidates have filed for elected county offices as of Monday, March 5. "We'll be in Toba's office at the court house annex on 12th Street until 5 pm on Friday to see if anyone else files," he said.

Hodges added that drawings for places on the primary ballot would take place at the election administrator's office at 6 pm, Monday, March 12.

As a result of on-going redistricting litigation in the State of Texas, the mailing of new voter registration certificates has been delayed.

Because interim redistricting maps
have not been approved, many county voter registration officials - Bandera County included - had been unable to finalize electoral precincts to conduct elections.

In an earlier interview, Perez-Wright admitted the predicament to the Courier. She noted, "I won't be mailing Voters' Registration Cards out until we have a date certain for the primary election. If we mail out the cards and the primary is postponed again, we would have wasted taxpayers' money and that's something I'm unwilling to do."

Now, she's compiling information so local cards can be sent to the printers and mailed to the voting public within a month. "Any registered voter in Bandera County who does not receive a new registration certificate during that time period should contact our office at 830-796-8146," Perez-Wright said.

She also noted that there would be several changes on the new cards.

Bandera County is now in Texas House District 54 of Rep. Harvey Hilderbran and in the Texas Senate District 24 of Senator Troy Fraser. Prior to redistricting, Bandera County had been included in House District 73, Rep. Doug Miller; and Senate District 19, Carlos Uresti.

Although previously issued voter registration certificates expired on Dec. 31, 2011, voter registrations remain valid, only the cards expired.

Currently registered voters who do not have any changes to the voter registration, including moving or name changes, do not need to take any action. Their cards will be renewed automatically. Registered voters who remain in their county of registration, but have changed their residence or name, must submit the updated information to Perez-Wright's office.

However, registered voters who have changed their county of residence will need to submit a new voter registration application no later than 30 days before election day.

The new deadline for issuing voter registration cards is Wednesday, April 25.

According to Hodges, the next forum for Republican candidates will take place at 1:30 pm, Saturday March 17, at the Vanderpool Community Center, located across from the fire department. "We'll also be scheduling forums in the Lakehills and Wharton's Dock areas," he said, "and we'll reschedule the forum that was supposed to have been held at the Pipe Creek Community Center last Sunday. Keep watching the Courier for details."