The two-week early voting period in the Nov. 8 election ended Friday with a record Brown County turnout, and county elections administrator Karen Opiela predicted a 60 percent turnout for Election Day.
    Opiela dared to hope for a turnout as high as 70 percent.
    “My official prediction is 60 percent, but I have an idea we may even go higher than that,” Opiela said. “People are really showing up for it. It’s an important election.”
    As of mid-afternoon Friday, with nearly five hours remaining until the sole poling place at the Adams Street Community Center closed, a total of 8,426 had cast early ballots, or 36 percent of the county’s registered voters.
    The mid-afternoon total was slightly higher than the 2012 early vote total of, 8,011 with the current number steadily climbing as voters arrived to cast ballots.
    Contested races of local interest include:
    • U.S. representative, District 11 — Republican Mike Conaway and Libertarian candidate Nicholas Landholt.
    • State senator, District 24 — Republican Dawn Buckingham and Democrat Virginia “Jennie Lou” Leeder.
    • City of Blanket — the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only (vote for or against).
    • Brookesmith school district — board of trustees (vote for one, two, three or four) Scott Burns, Terry Been, Jim Bob Bradley, Steve Smith, Julie Allgood, Wendy Harris.
    • Zephyr school district — board of trustees (vote for one, two, three or four) Ricky Simpson, Torrey McClain, Becky Cornelius, Jana Primrose, Jason Reynolds, Robert (Bob) Green II, Justin Gowin, Robert Armour Jr., John Moody.
    Polling places are:
    • Precinct 101 — Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 1800 Good Shepherd, Brownwood.
    • 105 — Southside Church, 1219 Indian Creek, Brownwood.
    • 109 — Brookesmith High School, 13400 FM 586 South, Brookesmith.
    • 113 — New Life Assembly of God Church, 1910 Indian Creek, Brownwood.
    • 202, 204 — Adams Street Community Center, 511 E. Adams, Brownwood.
    • 212 — May Community Center, 19150 Highway 183 North, May.
    • 214 — Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, 14501 County Road 405 North, May.
    • 215 — Crossroads Baptist Church 6400 Park Road 15.
    • 303 — East Elementary School, 2700 Vincent, Brownwood.
    • 306 — Early Community Center, 419 Garmon, Early.
    • 307 — First United Methodist Church, 517 Main, Blanket.
    • 308 — Zephyr Community Center, 11275 County Road 281, Zephyr.
    • 316, 318 — North Ridge Baptist Church, 4875 Highway 183 North, Early.
    • 410 — Bangs Community Center, 406 Spencer, Bangs.
    • 411 — Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, 1806 Coggin, Brownwood.
    • 417 — Rocky Creek Baptist Church, 4301 County Road 557.