By Jade Ortego

Killeen Daily Herald

Turnout in Bell and Coryell counties for today's election has been dismal, totaling 6,174 and 704, respectively, as of Friday, the last early voting day.

County Clerk Shelley Coston told the Bell County commissioners' court Monday that after two weeks of early voting, the Bell County figures were less than 20 percent of the regular total vote.

"There are 149,000 registered voters; we had anticipated about 60,000 (total)," Coston said.

"Even if we kind of match up election day voting with early voting …," County Judge Jon H. Burrows said.

"It's going to be very slim," Coston said.

In Bell County, Belton had the most voters at 2,124. Belton has a widely contested $29 million bond election for a new middle school on the ballot.

Killeen had a total of 982 early votes, and Harker Heights recorded 454.

People did come out to volunteer to work the precincts, Coston said. More than 80 people attended a training class for precinct workers on Saturday.

In Coryell County, 390 Copperas Cove and 314 Gatesville residents voted as of Friday.

Election day voting will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at all precinct locations. Election results will be updated online as the precincts report them at www.bellcountytx.com/election/electresults.htm.

Bell County commissioners also:

Awarded bids for police vehicles approved in the 2010 fiscal year budget.

Approved an agreement with Metroplex Control Systems-Detention Division for quarterly preventive maintenance on the jail security and detention system.

Renewed a contract with Dr. Warren Dunn of the Bell Area Animal Shelter and the city of Belton for animal shelter services.

Contact Jade Ortego at jortego@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553.

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