The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

March 1, 2014

To the polls! Primary election takes place March 4; several local GOP races on the ballot

PALESTINE —

Early voting for the March 4 Primary Election has come to a close, and now those who didn't make it to the courthouse annex have just a few days to finalize their decisions on whose box to color in this Tuesday.

The Anderson County Elections Office reports that, as of 7 p.m. Thursday, 2,414 early voters had cast their votes for the upcoming election. Regular voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at respective voting locations.

Several local races will be decided on the Republican ticket Tuesday including that of county judge, district attorney, county clerk, district clerk and county treasurer. State races on both ballots include that of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, agriculture commissioner, comptroller, and more.

A big change to this year's voting process is a new voter identification law that requires all Texas voters to show a form of photo identification at the polling location before they will be permitted to cast a vote.

Those forms of identification include: Texas driver's license, ID card, concealed handgun license, U.S. passport, military ID or U.S. citizenship certificate. The name on the voter registration record must match that on the identification, or the voter will be required to fill out an affidavit at the polls.

“If the name does not exactly match the name on the voter's photo ID, but are substantially similar, the voter will have to sign an affidavit stating they are the same person,” Anderson County Elections Administrator Casey Brown said in a recent news release.

Texas is one of 10 states running elections under a new voter ID law this year, and the first state to test it out at an election.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that states can require voters to produce photo ID at the polls without violating their constitutional rights. And last year, the high court threw out a key part of the landmark Voting Rights Act, a decision that allowed voter ID laws to take effect in states where voting procedures had been under strict federal oversight for nearly 50 years.

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