• December 24, 2014

Early voting ends today

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Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:04 am, Thu May 8, 2014.

Today is the last day to cast a ballot during early voting for the May 11 local municipal and school board elections.

More than 900 voters have cast ballots at Killeen, Harker Heights and Killeen Independent School District polling locations combined after the first six days of voting.

Voter turnout is down in Killeen, where there is only one contested council race — between incumbent Terry Clark and current Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lower.

After polls closed Monday, 527 Killeen residents had cast a ballot.

Killeen City Secretary Paula Miller said this year voter turnout has been “slow” but comparable to past district council races, which typically get lower turnout than mayoral elections.

Last year was an anomaly for Killeen municipal elections, when 2,093 voters cast ballots for the 26 candidates vying for seven different positions, five of which were left vacant after the historic 2011 recall.

After the sixth day of voting in 2012, 1,676 ballots had been cast.

Since Killeen adopted single-member districts in 2005, district council members are elected odd-numbered years; at-large members and the mayor are elected in even-numbered years.

“Even before single-member districts, it just doesn’t get as much interest as the mayor and three at-large candidates,” Miller said.

As with Killeen municipal elections, Harker Heights city council elections are held in May of each year.

This year three new candidates — Stu McLennan, Hal Schiffman and Erik Sandlin — are facing off for the Place 1 City Council seat of John Reider, who has reached his term limit.

Killeen resident Judy Mathis said she finds low voter turnout upsetting.

“It’s really important to get out there and vote,” Mathis said. “It’s our choice and it is important that we take advantage of that choice.”

Mathis said that she is focusing on the two contested races on the Killeen school board race.

“Education in this day and time is everything,” Mathis said. “If you don’t vote on the issues, then you’re not helping it to be right.”

KISD voters will decide two contested races.

Incumbent Shelley Wells and challenger Lan Carter face off for Place 1, and incumbent Susan Jones and challenger John Gilmore face off for Place 2.

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