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Early voting period nears

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The primary election season is about to get started as the early voting period will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 18, and run on weekdays in Bandera County through Feb. 28.

The early voting period has been scheduled to give voters a convenient way to cast ballots in advance of the regular March 3 primary date and avoid what could be long lines at precincts on primary day.

Registered voters in the Republican and Democratic parties can go to any one of three early voting sites to cast their ballots for nominees to federal, state and county positions. Winners in the primaries will represent their parties when the general election is held in November for voters to decide which candidates will be elected to office.

Democrats will have a variety of races to decide, including the party’s nominee for President, which has drawn 17 candidates, and U.S. Senate, which has 12 candidates on the ballot.

Democrats also have 10 propositions on the ballot to express their opinions about rights that should be guaranteed in Texas. The propositions examine everything from the right to quality healthcare to the right to clean air, safe water and a sustainable alternative energy source.

On the Republican side, there also are contests at the top of the ballot, including the presidency where Donald Trump has six opponents and U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican John Cornyn of Texas. He has drawn four opponents in his reelection bid.

Nine propositions appear on the Republican ballot. They cover topics as diverse as whether to reject restrictions on the right bear arms in Texas and whether to limit the terms of state legislators to 12 years.

The only contested local races are on the Republican ballot.

Bandera County Precinct 1 Commissioner Bruce Eliker is being challenged for renomination by Army Special Forces veteran Troy Konvicka, while Precinct 3 County Commissioner Jack Moseley is opposed in his quest for another term by Leanne Beauxbeannes, a volunteer coordinator with Bandera County Emergency Management.

Also in Precinct 2, Constable Ernest Reich III faces contractor and volunteer firefighter Greg Spengler for the Republican nomination to that post.

Candidate announcements in those local races are reported on pages 10 and 11 of this edition of the Bulletin.

Registered voters who want to vote early can go to the Ray Mauer Annex in Bandera, 403 12th St., the Lakehills Area Library, 7200 FM 1283 in Lakehills, or the Medina Annex at 161 E. Parker St. in Medina to cast ballots in the early-voting period.

With the exception of two days at the Mauer annex site, those sites will be open on weekdays only from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. until Feb. 28.

The Mauer site will have extended voting hours on Tuesday, Feb. 18 and again on Feb. 25. The voting hours those days will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If the elections produce runoffs, voters who cast ballots in one primary can’t switch parties to vote on a runoff in the other party, election officials said. But if someone did not cast a ballot in the March 3 primary, he or she is not limited on which party to vote in should a runoff arise.