On July 31st, voters will have the opportunity to vote in the primary run-off election. A federal court case on redistricting shifted the dates of the primary and run-off elections back several months. So, we will have our second election this summer during a time we typically have none. Texas held the Primary on the day after Memorial Day, and in Williamson County, only 15.42% of the voters participated. By contrast, in the last presidential election year, 2008, we had a 37.12% turnout. Williamson County voters first elected me as commissioner in a run-off election, which typically has low turn-outs, and I remember clearly how hard it was to get out the vote! Early voting begins on Monday, July 23 and concludes on Friday, July 27. The hours for voting are 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Election Day is Tuesday, July 31st with polls open those same hours. Some facts about the run-off election:
1. You are still eligible to vote in the Primary Runoff election if you neglected to vote in the Primary election. If you voted in the Primary, you are eligible to vote in the same party’s primary in which you cast a vote. State law prohibits you from switching to the other party’s Primary Runoff election.
2. If you are going to be out of the county during the early voting period and on Election Day, you can vote using a mail-in ballot. Go to the county’s election webpage, ,http://www.wilco.org/elections and print out an application, which must be received by the elections department seven days before the election, or on July 24th. Election workers will mail a ballot to your temporary address. You then mail it back so that it is received by no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, July 31st.
3. Fewer early voting and Election Day polling locations will be open during the run-off. Go to the elections webpage, click on the “Voter & Ballot Search” icon. You can then find your polling location and a sample ballot. A list of early voting locations is also on the page.
4. In the Republican Primary Runoff, five races are on the ballot including races for US Senator, Texas Supreme Court Justice, State Board of Education member and two races for Texas Railroad Commissioner. Also, 12 contested precinct chairman races are on the ballot for the following voting precincts: 190, 254,267,275,287,314,330,344,402,436,480, and 484. You can only vote in those races if you live in that voting precinct.
I urge you to exercise your right to vote and reflect on the words of one of our founding fathers, Samuel Adams, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual–or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”