Bell County has ordered 180,000 election ballots for the upcoming general election, an amount that should be more than enough to handle the drove of voters in the county who show up to vote for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and other names that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot, according to a county election official.
Shawn Snyder, the county’s election administrator, spoke to the Herald last week about important upcoming dates — and the mistakes made with a shortage of ballots in the primary election.
There are 182,000 registered voters in Bell County; however, that number is likely to go up. Residents have until Oct. 11 to register to vote.
Is there any concern that the county will run out of ballots on Election Day?
“No,” Snyder said last week. “Even during a presidential election, we’re still only seeing between 50 and 60 percent voter turnout. So we should be more than covered for this election.”
That wasn’t the case during the March primary election, when Bell County and other parts of the state ran out of ballots at several polling locations.
Several locations in Killeen and one in Salado ran out of ballots, in large part because of a record turnout of 40,684 primary voters — more than double the number of people who cast ballots in the 2012 presidential primary. By 5 p.m. March 1, several Killeen polling sites were reporting long lines and no ballots, with some voters waiting nearly three hours to vote.
Snyder said there were several factors that led to the shortage of ballots in March.
“There was record voter turnout across state,” he said. “Plus, it was the first time that Texas had been on the Super Tuesday schedule, which also boosted our numbers. Plus, the numbers that we used to order ballots from the last time were based off a 2012 primary that got pushed back twice.”
Snyder said the mistake of not ordering enough ballots should not happen this time.
“I didn’t want to run into the same issue again, so we have ordered what I hope to be a superfluous amount of ballots.”
Each precinct gets an amount of ballots based on the number of registered voters who live in that particular precinct.
Among the biggest precincts in the county are Precinct 104 at Morgan’s Point, which has about 7,000 registered voters, and Precinct 209 in Harker Heights, which has about 7,200 registered voters.
Click here to view Bell County polling locations and other information.
Go to kdhnews.com/centerforpolitics for more on the candidates and political news.
Important dates for the upcoming general election include:
Oct. 11: Last date to register to vote.
Oct. 24 to Nov. 4: Early voting period.
Nov. 8: Election Day.
Voter registration drivers are currently going on throughout the area, and residents can also register to vote at the Bell County Elections Department, 550 E. 2nd Ave. in Belton.
Fort Hood held a two-day voter registration throughout the post that concluded Friday.
Residents can also click here to register to vote.
It’s possible that a registered voter could be suspended or removed from the registered voter list if he or she moves or doesn’t respond to notices from the elections office confirming an address. For more information, call the Bell County Elections Department at 254-933-5774.
For more area election news, and a full list of candidates running for office, see Sunday’s Killeen Daily Herald.
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