“Early” voting in Texas was once a period reserved for those who knew in advance that they would be unable to make it to the polls on election day. Then known as “absentee” voting, a person was required to offer a qualified excuse in order to be allowed to vote. Those excuses were primarily related to travel, but some had surgery scheduled or similar situations that would keep them away from the ballot box.

Now, there are no excuses needed, and few excuses hold up for not getting around to voting - especially in this election.

Early voting has been under way daily since Monday, Oct. 20, and continues through Friday at the Coliseum Annex. The hours today are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the hours will be extended Thursday and Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voting has never been easier, and with the expanded time frame, it has never been more convenient. And citizens have responded, with more than 5,000 of the county’s 24,000-plus voters having cast their ballots.

It’s an opportunity for voters who already know which candidates they support to participate in this great institution we know as self-government. On the other hand, for those who are still undecided on some races, voting early would be premature.

Regardless, the voter gets to make the choice, not only on their favored candidates, but also on the timing of their vote.

Brownwood Bulletin