Politics & Government

May 22, 2014

Last day to vote early in primary runoff

Lower turnout is projected in this runoff than in 2012 when more than 330,000 Texans voted.

Today is the last chance for Texas voters to cast their ballots early in the primary runoff election.

Anyone who doesn’t make it to the polls today between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. will have one more chance — on Tuesday, Election Day — to weigh in on a dozen races left unsettled from the March primary election.

So far, election turnout seems to be low.

“This one seems to be a little bit slower than in the past,” said Stephen Vickers, chief deputy elections administrator in Tarrant County. “But we always see an increase in turnout numbers on the last days of early voting. That’s when people run out and vote real quick.”

By mid-day Thursday, more than 15,000 Tarrant County voters — 2,153 Democrats and 13,978 Republicans — had cast their ballots in person.

Through Wednesday, 2.3 percent of Texas voters in the 15 most populated counties had voted, according to the most recent records available from the Texas secretary of state’s office.

Montgomery County had the largest percent of turnout statewide, with 4.7 percent of Republicans there casting early votes, to just 0.12 percent of Democrats who turned out.

In the last primary runoff election, 243,795 Republicans, including 34,837 in Tarrant County, and 90,519 Democrats, including 11,010 in Tarrant County, voted early, state records show.

On the ballot

On this ballot, local Democrats will vote in one local, one statewide and one federal race.

They’ll choose between David Alameel and Kesha Rogers for U.S. Senate, Jim Hogan and Richard “Kinky” Friedman for agriculture commissioner and Erika Beltran and Andrea Hilburn for State Board of Education, District 13.

Local Republicans have more races on the ballot.

They will choose between Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst for lieutenant governor, Ken Paxton and Dan Branch for attorney general, Sid Miller and Tommy Merritt for agriculture commissioner, Wayne Christian and Ryan Sitton for railroad commissioner and Patricia “Pat” Hardy and Eric Mahroum for State Board of Education, District 11.

Also on the Republican ballot: Konnie Burton and Mark Shelton are vying for Senate District 10; Atticus Gill and Carey Walker are running for judge, County Criminal Court No. 2; Bob McCoy and Alexander Kim are squaring off for judge, County Criminal Court No. 3; and Russ Casey and Lenny Lopez are running for justice of the peace, Precinct 3.

Tarrant County voters may go to any of the county’s 40-plus early-voting sites.

Bring ID

Texas voters must bring a photo ID — a driver’s license, state-issued personal ID card, concealed handgun license, military ID card, citizenship certificate with photo or passport. Any license that’s expired must not be expired for more than 60 days.

Anyone showing up at the polls to vote without a photo ID is given a chance to go home and bring the ID back.

If they don’t, they may cast a provisional ballot. But to make sure that vote is counted, they’ll have to take a valid photo ID to the elections office within six days after the election. If they don’t, the ballot will not be counted, officials say.

Sample ballots and a list of Election Day polling sites are available online at star-telegram.com/elections. For more information, call Tarrant County Elections officials at 817-831-8683.

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