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Early voting begins Tuesday

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For registered voters who have made up their minds about who they will vote for in the General Election and don’t want to wait until the official election date to vote on Nov. 3, the early voting period starts in the state on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and will continue at three locations around the county until Oct. 30.

Early voting has been established in Texas for years to give voters an opportunity to avoid heavy lines on election day by voting early at preselected sites.

The three early voting sites in Bandera County are the Ray Mauer Annex in Bandera where the Bandera County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office is, 403 12th St., the Lakehills Area Library in Lakehills, 7200 FM 1283, and the Medina Tax Office annex, 161 E. Parker St. in Medina.

Those sites are scheduled to be open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. each day of early voting to accept ballots. They are not likely to be open during the weekends over the early voting period.

But any registered voter in the county can vote at any of those sites during the early voting period. On election day in November, voters will have to go to one of the 10 precincts in the county where they are registered to cast their ballots. Voting hours on Nov. 3 will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The political season has been a lengthy and acrimonious one, highlighted by a bare-knuckles race for President, but a number of other races for a variety of other posts, including one of Texas’ two U.S. Senate seats and all the U.S. House seats in Texas, also will be decided in the General Election.

More locally, Bandera Mayor Suzanne Schauman has drawn a third challenge from Bandera developer Cindy Lou Coffey in her reelection bid, and three women – Toni Kunz, Darcy Hasty and Andrea Jankoski – are competing for two Bandera City Council positions.

In the Medina Independent School District, three incumbent school board members filed for reelection and drew no opposition, but voters will have the opportunity to make their decision about whether the district’s property tax rate should stay at $1.2764 per $100 valuation as trustees have proposed or if it should be cut back by about 13 cents per $100 valuation to the level that was set as the largest tax rate that the district could adopt without being subject to a public vote.

No contests have been set up this election cycle in races for two places on the Bandera Independent School District Board of Trustees or for four positions open on the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District board; but two incumbent board members in the Utopia Independent School District – Wayne Moore and Jena Smothers – drew opposition from four candidates there in a race for three open seats.

The League of Women Voters of Texas is one of the organizations that has produced a voters guide available online that can give voters information about the candidates competing in the races in their areas.

The guide can be obtained in a printable document at www.LWVTexas.org and in an interactive form online at VOTE411.org.