By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
If you haven't registered to vote yet, this week is the time.
Thursday is the deadline to register to vote in the municipal election May 9.
Area newcomers can register at City Hall or at the vehicle registration office on Priest Drive.
Anyone who voted in last fall's election, part of the county's record voter turnout, is eligible to vote in the local election this year.
Seats on the Killeen Independent School District board of trustees, Killeen City Council, Harker Heights City Council, Copperas Cove City Council and Nolanville City Council are up for election this year.
With the record voter turnout in the fall, many are hopeful that this year's contested elections will bring out voters en masse, too.
Last year, slightly more than 5 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the spring election. And that number is not unusual.
In the past 15 years, only the 2002 bond election brought voter turnout greater than 10 percent of registered voters.
There are more than 50,000 registered voters in Killeen, so if the numbers go as expected, fewer than 5,000 people will decide the leaders of the cities and schools in the area.
Killeen City Secretary Paula Miller said she hopes to make the process as easy as possible by offering curbside voting.
"It doesn't happen very often, but if someone comes by either here or the Community Center during early voting, or on election day at the various polling sites, and another person will come in and let the clerks know, we can always take the ballot materials to the car to allow them to vote without having to come inside," Miller said.
The Killeen City Council candidates include:
District 1 features Councilman Kenny Wells and former House District 54 candidate Ed Lindsay.
District 2 is a matchup between one former councilman, Dick Young, and the current councilman, Juan Rivera, who is attempting to keep his seat.
District 3 features the lone open seat, as Mayor Pro Tem Fred Latham is term-limited. Candidates include former school board candidate JoAnn Purser, former council candidate Bernardine Martin, former mayoral candidate Harold Butchart and first-timer John Doranski.
District 4 features another four-person race. Candidates include first-time candidate Ralph Cossey, former Mayor Pro-Tem Earnest Wilkerson, Councilman Otis Evans and Keith Gavin.
The KISD candidates include: Mike Pearce, Art Trujillo, Martin Allen and Ron Rainosek.
The Harker Heights City Council candidates include: Steve Hoskins, Spencer Smith and Robert Tucker vying for the District 5 seat, and Sam Murphey and James Sutton vying for the District 2 seat.
The Nolanville City Council candidates include: Stan Williamson, Larry Forbes, Reggie Simmons, Albert Simmons, Brenda Huckaba, Denise Hungerford, Christina Rosenthal, Ken Miller and Wayne Hamilton. Emma McCullough and Robert Lyall are running for the mayoral seat.
The Copperas Cove City Council candidates include: Cheryl L. Meredith for Place 1, Charlie Youngs and Mark Peterson for Place 2, and John Hull and Roger O'Dwyer for the mayoral seat.
Contact Justin Cox at email@example.com or (254) 501-7568.
Ask the candidates
The Killeen Daily Herald is planning an online candidate forum. E-mail your questions for the candidates to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions must be received by April 12.
Register to vote
When is the deadline to register to vote in the May 9 election?
The deadline to register is Thursday. Applications that are mailed must be postmarked no later than April 9.
How do I register to vote?
Simply fill out a voter registration application and mail or hand-deliver it to your county voter registrar's office.
Where do I get a voter registration application?
You may obtain an application from your county elections office, many post offices, libraries, or from www.VOTEXAS.org.
Who is eligible to vote?
To register to vote, you must be a resident of the county in which you wish to vote, a United States citizen, at least 18 years old on Election Day, not a convicted felon (unless sentence, probation, and/or parole have been completed), and not declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law.
What identification will I need to provide to register to vote?
To register to vote in Texas you must provide a Texas driver's license number or personal identification number issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety. If you don't have such a number, simply provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you don't have a social security number, you need to state that fact. If you do not have one of these three identification numbers, you are still eligible to register to vote, but will be required to provide proof of your identity at the polling place.
When will I get my voter registration card?
After you apply, a voter registration certificate (your proof of registration) will be mailed to you within 30 days. Check your certificate to be sure all information is correct. If there is a mistake, make corrections and return it to the voter registrar immediately.
Source: Secretary of state's office