More than 5,700 people in Bell County came out to vote on Monday, the first day of early voting for the midterm elections.

Area counties have opened multiple voting locations for what officials say might may be higher-than-normal voter turnouts.

Bell County Elections Administrator Melinda Luedecke said the turnout at the polls was busy, with some voters waiting in line for close to an hour.

In Killeen, 692 residents voted at the Killeen Annex, while 1,033 voted at the Killeen Community Center. Another 823 people voted in Harker Heights. County-wide, 8,358 votes have been cast so far, including 2,575 ballots by mail.

In the 2014 midterm elections, about 26 percent, just over 44,000 of Bell County’s 168,700 voters participated, according to Luedecke. Since then, more than 25,400 people have been added to the county’s voter rolls.

On Monday, 847 voters took to the polls in Copperas Cove, while 690 voted in Gatesville, bringing the total to 1,537 for the day in Coryell County.

In Lampasas County, 793 residents voted at the polls Monday, in addition to the 367 ballots previously received by mail.

The U.S. Senate race in Texas has gained national attention as Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, and Neal Dikeman, the Libertarian candidate, challenge incumbent Republican Ted Cruz.

The race for 31st Congressional District has also reached national attention with veteran combat medic and helicopter pilot MJ Hegar calling for change against the eight-term representative John Carter.

For Texas District 54, Republican Brad Buckley and Democratic candidate Kathy Richerson are competing for a seat being vacated by incumbent Scott Cosper, whom Buckley bested in the primary election.

For Congressional District 25, Democratic candidate Julie Oliver running against incumbent Republican Roger Williams.

At the Bell County level, Republican John Fisher, who has held his seat as commissioner for Precinct 4 for the last 16 years, is being challenged by Democrat John Driver.

Independent write-in candidate Ernest Wilkerson, a former Killeen City Council member, is taking on former Killeen City Manager David Blackburn for the Bell County judge seat being vacated by Jon Burrows, who is not seeking re-election. The names of write-in candidates must be spelled correctly to be counted, according to voting officials.

The Copperas Cove mayoral seat is up for grabs as Joey Acfalle and Azeita Taylor run against incumbent Frank Seffrood.

Copperas Cove also has ballot spots for two city council seats, as well as two seats on the school board.

The city of Gatesville has uncontested races for mayor and council seats. However, seven candidates are vying for two places on the Gatesville school board.

In Nolanville, Andy Williams is running against Keith Biggs for the mayoral seat.

When and Where to vote:

BELL COUNTY

Oct. 22 through 26 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Oct. 27: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Oct. 28: Noon to 5 p.m.

Oct. 29 -Nov. 2: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Early voting locations

Belton — Bell County Courthouse Annex, 550 E. 2nd Ave.

Killeen — Bell County Annex, 301 Priest Drive

Killeen — Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd

Temple — Bell County Annex, 205 E. Central Ave.

Salado — Salado Civic Center, 601 N. Main

Harker Heights — Parks and Recreation Center, 307 Millers Crossing

CORYELL COUNTY

Oct. 22: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 23: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Oct. 24-26: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 29: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 30: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Oct. 31-Nov. 2: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Early voting locations

Coryell County Justice Center. 210 S. 1st St., Copperas Cove

Gatesville Main St. Annex, 801 E. Leon St., Gatesville

For more information: www.coryellcountytax.com/#/

LAMPASAS COUNTY

Oct. 22: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 24-26: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 23: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Oct. 29, 31: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nov. 1, 2: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 30: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Early voting location: 407 S. Pecan St., Suite: 102, Lampasas

Here’s what to bring:

A government-issued, photo identification.

This can be one of the following:

Texas driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Texas election identification certificate issued by DPS.

Texas personal identification card issued by DPS.

Texas handgun license issued by DPS.

U.S. military identification card containing the person’s photograph.

U.S. citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph.

U.S. passport (book or card).

More specific information is available at: www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/need-id.html

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