Bulletin Staff Report

With a higher voter turnout anticipated for this year’s Nov. 4 balloting, election officials throughout Texas are encouraging voters to take advantage of the early voting period, which opens today and continues through Oct. 31.

Doing so could help avoid delays on Election Day.

“I encourage voters to take advantage of the convenience afforded by the early voting period,” Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade said. “We anticipate a large voter turnout for the general election. By voting early you can avoid the long lines we expect to see on Election Day.”

Brown County voters will cast early ballots at the Elections Administration Office in the Brownwood Coliseum Annex, 110 S. Greenleaf, Brownwood. Early voting locations in other counties can be found on the special Texas secretary of state office Web site, www.votexas.org.

Andrade reminded voters to bring their voter registration certificate with them to the polls to expedite the voter check-in process. However, if their registration certificate is unavailable, a voter will still be allowed to vote with a valid I.D.

Contested races on the Brown County ballot at the national and state level include president and vice president, Texas Railroad Commissioner, three Texas Supreme Court places and four Texas Court of Criminal Appeals places.

Among the key races for local voters are Brown County Pct. 3 Commissioner, Richard Gist (Republican, incumbent) vs. Billy Wayne Cumba (Democrat); Brown County sheriff, Bobby Grubbs (Republican, incumbent) vs. Kim Gilliam (Democrat); U.S. Senate, John Cornyn (Republican, incumbent) vs. Rick Noriega (Democrat); U.S. House of Representatives District 11, Mike Conaway (Republican, incumbent) vs. John R. Strohm (Libertarian; Texas House of Representatives District 60, Jim Keffer (Republican, incumbent) vs. Dave Shupp (Democrat); and State Board of Education District 14, Gail Lowe (Republican, incumbent) vs. Edra Bogle (Democrat).