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2012-10-25

No ballots for 4th Street residents

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Some residents of Bandera's 4th Street were temporarily disenfranchised during Early Voting for the Nov. 6 General Election earlier this week. The snafu probably originated with redistricting earlier this year, explained Bandera County Elections Administrator Toba Perez-Wright.
"The street was apparently merged during the redistricting process," said Perez-Wright. "I have no one else to blame but myself."
As a result of the coding error, two residents of 4th Street taking advantage of early voting Monday afternoon did not receive a ballot that included candidates for city offices.
"The [election] clerks have all been notified of the problem," said Perez-Wright, "and we are trying to catch [those people] as they come in."
However, the elections administrator cautioned that this is a big election and the early voting sites have been very busy, so some 4th Street voters may still be overlooked.
If that happens, Perez-Wright advised the voters to return to the early voting site where they will be issued a provisional ballot for the city races.
In the meantime, Bandera City Marshal Charlie Hicks posted flyers along 4th Street and advised all of the city candidates about the problem. Flyers were also posted at City Hall and at each of the early voting locations.
The balloting glitch should only apply to the early voting process, said Perez-Wright. "For voters who vote on Nov. 6, the poll books will be correctly programmed to included 4th Street residents," Perez-Wright said. The error has been reported to the Secretary of State, the office that oversees all Texas elections.
The problem surfaced when a pair of eligible voters cast their ballots at the Ray Mauer Annex and realized they had not voted in the city election. Assuming the polling place for the city races was at City Hall, one voter went there, only to be informed that all Nov. 6 elections early voting ballots are to be voted on at the early voting sites.
Once the problem was identified, Perez-Wright, City Secretary Linda Boshek, Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Schumacher and Marshal Hicks quickly took steps to fix it and notify the public.
Early voting for the Nov. 6 General Election, which includes the presidential candidates, state offices, school board and city offices, continues weekdays through Friday, Nov. 2 at the Ray F. Mauer Annex in Bandera, the Medina Annex, and the Lakehills Area Library.