Joint election early voting opens Monday

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

April 28, 2012 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated April 27, 2012 at 11:28 p.m.

Skip the crowd, vote early.

The polls for early voting open Monday for the May 12 municipal elections.

Victoria County Elections Administrator George Matthews said convenience is the main reason to vote early.

On election day, voters must cast their ballots at their specific precinct voting location, he said.

"If you happen to work in town, but you live out in the country, you have to vote out in the country before you leave for work, or leave work early to go vote," Matthews said. "Early voting is fairly convenient because you can do it during lunch or during breaks."

There are two separate elections happening in May. The May 12 election includes City Council, 17 charter amendments, Victoria College trustees and a bond issue, as well as two water districts and a utility district.

The May 29 Republican and Democratic Party primary elections includes county, district and federal races.

For the May 12 election, early voting is open 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. through May 8 at the County Elections Administrators Office, 111 N. Glass St.

Extended hours for early voting is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, May 4, and Tuesday, May 8, at the elections office.

There are also three branch sites open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday and Tuesday, at the Bloomington Water Control and Improvement District Office, 93 Illinois St.; Placedo Water Control and Improvement District Office, 91 Illinois St.; and the Quail Creek Municipal Utility District, 515 Chukar Drive.

Matthews said voters must bring some form of identification to cast a ballot.

"Don't get this confused with the Voter ID Law," he said. "That was denied pre-clearance by the Justice Department, so it is not in effect."

The easiest form of identification is a voter registration card, Matthews said. However, a drivers license, certified copy of a birth certificate, U.S. passport, a letter from a government agency, which could include a bill from the utility department or a letter from the IRS, naturalization or citizenship papers, a Veterans Affairs ID card or a handgun permit.

Matthews said turnout for city elections typically lingers between 7 and 15 percent of the registered voters.

"It's a possibility we might have a few more this year because each one of the council districts is up for election," he said.

This election features 46 separate "ballot styles" which are specific to each precinct, Matthews said.



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