Tuesday, July 14, is your final chance to vote in the runoff election.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and registered voters can cast their ballot at any of Bell County’s 41 polling locations. During the early voting, 7,114 voters cast their ballots in Bell County.

The Bell County Elections Department has placed safety precautions as the number of local COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

Voting booths will be set up in a single line, spaced 6 feet apart. When voters check in, they will be given an unsharpened pencil and, using the eraser end, they will use it as a touchscreen stylus to mark their ballot.

“Then they’re free to take that pencil with them because we don’t want them back,” Elections Administrator Melinda Luedecke said.

Poll workers will be supplied with personal protection equipment, including cloth masks and face shields. Workers will wipe down each voting machine with 75 percent isopropyl alcohol.

Protective shields have been installed at the voter check-in station to protect poll workers, Luedecke said.

Despite a statewide mandate to wear facial coverings, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided to not require masks at voting locations across the state.

Bell County voters only have a handful of races to decide.

Republicans have one race on their ballot. They will pick either Killeen lawyer Steve Duskie or Belton lawyer Jeff Parker, who works as a Coryell County assistant district attorney, for judge of the 426th District Court.

Democrats will choose either Dr. Christine Eady Mann or computer engineer Donna Imam as their candidate to face Republican U.S. Rep. John Carter for Texas’ 31st Congressional District in November.

They will also cast their ballots in the runoff between Air Force veteran MJ Hegar and state Sen. Royce West for their party’s U.S. Senate nomination. The winner will face Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.

Finally, Democrats will decide between former state Rep. Robert R. “Beto” Alonzo and oil and gas attorney Chrysta Castaneda for their party’s nomination for Texas Railroad commissioner. The winner will face Republican Jim Wright, who ousted incumbent Ryan Sitton in the March primary.

Area races

In Coryell County, voters will decide two races. State Rep. J.D. Sheffield, R-Gatesville, is defending his seat against Shelby Slawson in the runoff for Texas House District 59 — which covers Comanche, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba and Somervell counties.

Coryell voters also will decide between Republicans Ryan Basham and Justin Veazey for Precinct 3 county commissioner.

Voters in Milam County will decide both sides of the race for the 17th Congressional District and a seat on the Commissioners Court.

David Anthony Jaramillo faces Rick Kennedy for the Democratic nomination while former U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions faces Renee Swan for the Republican nomination. The Democratic and Republican winners will be on the November ballot.

Republican voters also will decide on Precinct 1 county commissioner. Richard “Opey” Watkins will face Henry “Hub” Hubnik in the runoff.

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