Early voting began July 23 throughout the state in primary runoff elections. In Hays County, voters are helping decide one Democratic runoff and more than a dozen Republican runoffs. Early voting runs through July 27; Election Day is July 31.
At their July 17 session, Hays County Commissioners voted to add an early voting location at Buda City Hall to the four previously chosen locations.
At the direction of the County Elections Office, the county had arranged for early voting in Kyle, San Marcos, Wimberley and Dripping Springs.
Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan said no early voting location had been planned for Buda because commissioners had approved one location in each of the county's four precincts. Locations were based, in part, on population estimates in each area.
"You estimate what you think totals are going to be. As far as a simple estimate, the City of Kyle has 28,000 [in] population. City of Buda has 7,300. Where would you recommend a site be?" Cowan said. "If you think of Precinct 2, Kyle really was the center of the area."
Cowan said officials take into account previous numbers of voters who have turned out for runoff elections, usually a lower number than in a primary.
"I wished I could say that I think we'll have more people turn out in our runoff than we did in our original primary, but in my opinion—and everybody's that I get as far as estimates—it's not going to happen," Cowan said. "I appreciate every voter that goes to the poll. If we were to exceed it [primary voter totals], it's kind of 'Hallelujah.'"
Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said the original early voting locations were established when officials received unclear instructions from the state of Texas.
"When we decided on our sites, we were under the [impression] that we could have only one site per precinct, and that if we opened up two [voting sites] in one we'd have to open up two in all," Jones told commissioners.
Cowan said she received clarification on the regulations and, after hearing from a couple of Buda residents on the issue, brought the matter to commissioners for further consideration.
"We try to accommodate our voters, and I think we have," she said. "We are looking at doing things differently for our November election, because that is a whole different story."
As of Monday afternoon, Cowan said the county had seen 131 votes cast at Dripping Springs ISD, 88 at the Hays County Government Center, 65 at the Buda-Kyle location and 86 in Wimberley.
Early voting runs through July 27. The Buda City Hall location will be open from 7 a.m.–7 p.m. July 27. Hays County voters may cast their ballots at any location during early voting, but must vote at their home precinct on Election Day, July 31.
More information on voting locations, including maps, is available on the Hays County website.
Early voting locations
8 a.m.–5 p.m. July 23–27. Hays County Elections Office, 712 S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos.
8 a.m.–5 p.m. July 23–25. Kyle City Hall, 100 W. Center St., Kyle; Wimberley Community Center, 14068 RR 12, Wimberley; and Dripping Springs ISD Administration Building, 510 W. Mercer St., Dripping Springs.
7 a.m.–7 p.m. July 26–27. Kyle City Hall, Wimberley Community Center, DISD Administration Building.
On the ballot
U.S. senate—Democrats Paul Sadler and Grady Yarbrough, and Republicans Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst
U.S. representative, District 25—Republicans Wes Riddle and Roger Williams
Railroad commissioner—Republicans Warren Chisum and Christi Craddick
Railroad commissioner—Republicans Greg Parker and Barry Smitherman
Supreme Court justice, Place 4—Republicans John Devine and David Medina
State Senate, District 25—Republicans Dr. Donna Campbell and Jeff Wentworth
District Judge, 22nd Judicial District—Republicans Bruce Boyer and David S. Glickler
Precinct chairman, all Republican candidates
Precinct 225—David C. Crowell and Stuart G. Hoyt
Precinct 226—Katherine Bowman and Darryl Swann
Precinct 232—Pat T. W. Chisholm, Thomas Doebner and George Butler
Precinct 335—Philip W. Koch and Mary Joe Roddie
Precinct 337—Dean Miller and Craig Young
Precinct 414—Riley Inks and Thomas E. LeVrier
Precinct 419—James R. Clements and Jaime Torres
Precinct 444—Linda Kinney and Mandy Taylor
Precinct 447—Don Meador and Paul Velte
Precinct 449—Kenneth R. Hamburger and Mary Pat Paul