Bell County elections officials prepared for high voter turnout

Posted: 8:01 AM, Oct 24, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-24 13:19:15Z
Bell County elections officials prepared for high voter turnout

Bell County elections officials said they're prepared for higher-than-average voter turnout for the presidential election.

Elections administrator Shawn Snyder said the county has about 185,000 registered voters. About 12,000 of those voters registered within the past seven months.

"That's the most [registered voters] we've ever had in Bell County. A lot of interest in this election. A lot of people feel very strongly about it, one way or the other," Snyder said.

During the primary election in March, Bell County had ballot shortages at several polling places, causing long lines and angering voters. But this time, Snyder said they're better prepared.

"We do have the possibility of printing out extra if we need to and ordering extra if we need to. If we're seeing a super influx of voters, which is a possibility, we can allocate. We can do stuff like that," he said.

About 50-55 percent of registered voters in Bell County hit the polls on Election Day in 2012, but his team expects a higher turnout this presidential election.

"I ordered 180,000 ballots, which is about one for every voter in Bell County. There's going to be a lot of ballots there. That shouldn't be an issue that we run into this time," Snyder said.

He recommends voting early because you can vote on the weekend and you can choose one of six early voting sites instead of having to go to your designated site on Election Day.

About 50 percent of the ballots in 2012 came from early voters.

"It's much easier to process 50 percent over 12 days, rather than all on one," Snyder said. "The lines are usually shorter. If there's issues, we can work on them quicker." 

Bell County Early Voting Locations:

  • Belton: Bell County Courthouse Annex, 550 E.2nd Ave.
  • Killeen: Bell County Annex, 301 Priest Dr.
  • Killeen: Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd.
  • Temple: Bell County Annex, 205 E. Central Ave.
  • Salado: Salado Civic Center, 601 N. Main St.

Early Voting Times:

  • Monday, Oct. 24, through Friday, Oct. 28: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 29: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 30: 12-5 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 31, through Friday, Nov. 4: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

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