The number of service members voting with absentee ballots in Bell County is up by nearly a thousand voters this year, compared to the 2008 presidential election.
As of Oct. 27, the Bell County clerk’s office sent out a total of 6,890 ballots for overseas voters whose residence is in Bell County, said Shelley Coston, county clerk.
Of those, 3,780 were Federal Postcard Applications for military service members and their dependents and 3,110 were civilian applications.
“And we are still processing those being received through (Oct. 30),” Coston said.
Nearly 50 percent of absentee ballots have been returned.
In 2008, Coston said election records indicate there were 5,987 ballots received by mail.
“It’s always a very positive feeling when we have a high turnout,” Coston said. “Especially from military that are not here that are still concerned and interested in voting for our elections.”
In Coryell County, 800 postcard applications were sent and 429 were returned, said Justin Carothers, county tax assessor-collector.
Of Fort Hood service members stationed at Fort Hood and living on post who chose to register to vote in Central Texas, their ballots are divided nearly in half by Bell and Coryell counties.
Carothers said 3,291 Fort Hood residents are registered in Coryell. In Bell County, 3,580 registered voters live at Fort Hood, said Sharon Long, the county’s tax assessor collector. That’s about 2 percent of Bell County’s total registered voters for the 2012 general election.
Many, though, may choose to submit an absentee ballot in their home state or county.