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Early voting may have record turnout

By Steven James BCC Editor

Early voting began in Texas on Monday, Oct. 24.
The total number of people who voted Monday in Bandera County was 990, Bandera County Elections Administrator Dana Moeller said. For early voting, people can go to the Ray F. Mauer Annex at 403 12th St., the Lakehills Area Library at 7200 FM 1283 and the Medina Annex at 161 E. Parker St. All three locations are open Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.
The Ray F. Mauer Annex will be open for extended hours on Oct. 29 from 9 am to noon, and Oct. 31-Nov. 4 from 7 am to 7 pm. People who are in the lines by closing time will get to cast their ballots. Early voting ends in Texas on Friday, Nov. 4.
Moeller said she thinks early voting will have a record turnout this year, because the county has many more registered voters in 2016 compared to previous years.
“I think it is really exciting to see so many excited to vote,” Moeller said. “It is a right and a privilege that everyone should take advantage of.”
In 2012, 5,846 Bandera County residents voted during early voting season. In 2014, 3,327 Bandera County residents voted during early voting season.
“Everyday so far, we have steady traffic of voters,” Moeller said. “At the main early voting location, the lines at times do get a bit long, but we try to accommodate everyone as quickly as we can. As far as feeling exhausted, I feel like we are a bit, which is normal for long days, but we are a well-oiled machine, and we are grateful.”
The total number of people who voted in Texas on Monday was 35,066, 6.32 percent of registered voters, an increase from the 2012 early voting first day number of 16,378, which was 3.3 percent of registered voters, according to the Austin Chronicle.
“People know that this is a very significant election, and a perfect opportunity for people’s voices to be heard in the political arena,” Moeller said.
Handicap and other forms of assistance are offered at voting booths. People 65 and older, people who are sick, people with disabilities and people who are away from their registered countries may also mail in their ballots, but only if they meet certain guidelines and deadlines.
For early voting, residents can vote at any of the available locations in the county, as opposed to having to vote within their precincts.
To vote at any of the three locations in Bandera County, one must bring a personal identification card, be registered to vote in the county, be a registered U.S. citizen and must be 18-years-old by Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 8. If one does not have a personal ID card, he or she can bring a copy of his or her birth certificate, current utility bill, voter registration certificate or an official government document with that person’s name and address. If a government document contains a photograph, that person must bring the original record.