By Joyce May
Killeen Daily Herald
GATESVILLE – Coryell County Clerk Barbara Simpson is looking for a few good addresses.
The deadline is approaching for the county clerk's office to mail ballots for the November general election; Simpson says she needs military personnel who applied for a ballot by mail as far back as the presidential election in 2004 to contact her with their current addresses.
"If they have moved back into the county, and they haven't given us a new address, I will still be sending a ballot to Iraq or Germany or wherever they were deployed," Simpson said. "We are federally mandated to send a ballot to the address that he or she gave me. If they are back in the county or in reading distance of your newspaper, I need them to contact me with their current address."
She said family members who have good addresses on deployed soldiers can also get in touch with her.
"I need some good addresses, desperately. If they are deployed somewhere else, their family can contact me."
Simpson can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at (254) 865-8631.
She said the address updates are required by law to be submitted in writing, though she is accepting phone call inquiries.
The county clerk thanked Bob Shoemaker, who put her in contact with Fort Hood officials concerning the need. She said they set up an account so she could look up soldiers' e-mail addresses.
"I sent 784 e-mails to their military e-mail addresses," Simpson said.
"To date, I have had a response from 150, so we still got all those other ballots that must be sent to those bad addresses."
Simpson explained that part of the Help America Vote Act mandates that county clerks mail the ballots for the next two federal elections, which are held in even-numbered years, from the time of application.
She said if county clerks received a federal postcard application from Jan. 1, 2004, to Nov. 2, 2004, they are required to mail federal ballots to those applicants through November 2006.
If clerks received federal postcard applications from Nov. 3, 2004, through Dec. 31, 2004, they are required to mail the federal ballots to applicants through November 2008.
"In wartime, our troops are being rotated before those two federal elections, but the thing is they are not at that same place for that period of time," Simpson said.
Her office will begin mailing the ballots as soon as they are received, Simpson said, which is expected to be around mid-September. She said they must be mailed by Sept. 22.
"We need to get these guys located before time to start mailing these out," Simpson said.
Contact Joyce May at email@example.com