News

City, school elections still ‘on time’

Filing starts Monday; photo IDs required for voters under new state law in 2012
By MIKE BROWN
Reporter Editor


A driver’s license will be the main photo ID presented by Texas voters in 2012 under a new state law, but a variety of others will be accepted at the polls. A driver’s license will be the main photo ID presented by Texas voters in 2012 under a new state law, but a variety of others will be accepted at the polls. County and state candidates may not yet know when they will actually go before voters, thanks to an ongoing redistricting squabble, but that’s not the case with the city, school and hospital districts.

Those elections will be May 12 and candidates can start filing on Monday.

Something new has been added to Texas elections in 2012. For the first time, a photo ID will be required of all voters before they’ll be allowed to cast ballots.

FILING—Technically the first day to file for the May 12 ballot is Feb. 4 but that’s Saturday so filing will begin on Monday.

City candidates may file weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through March 5 at City Hall.

Terms of council members Allan Miller (west ward) and Willie Phillips (east ward) are expiring.

Rockdale ISD school board candidates can file weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (4 p.m. on Fridays) at the Central Administration Building.

Terms of board members Mike Pruett (Place 1) and Wayne Fisher (Place 2) are expiring.

There will also be an election for the Rockdale Hospital District board in 2012 with filing details to be worked out.

Terms of Dr. Lucile Estell and Karolyn Puccio are expiring in 2012.

NO CONFLICTS—Texas’ primary elections are in limbo as the parties to a redistricting lawsuit are attempting to negotiate a settlement, as ordered two weeks ago by the U. S. Supreme Court.

But that situation won’t conflict with the May 12 elections.

The city, Rockdale ISD and hospital district now own, and share, electronic voting machines. “So, there won’t be any conflict with the county needing their machines to hold elections, no matter when the primaries end up being held,” Rockdale City Secretary Terry Blanchard told The Reporter.

The city has also undergone a redistricting process based on the 2010 Census figures. That involves a new line being drawn between the two wards.

“But we’ve received pre-clearance f rom t he U. S. Just ice Department on that ward redistricting, so we can go ahead and hold the May 12 election,” Blanchard said.

CHANGES—The ward boundary change could still result in confusion for a handful of city residents in central Rockdale who might have been shifted from one ward to the other.

“There won’t be any new voter registration cards mailed out prior to May 12 so it’s possible some people could not yet know they’ve changed wards,” Blanchard said.

City Hall (446-2511) has maps showing the new lines and Rockdale residents can also view the new ward line at www.rockdalecityhall.com. Search for “redistricting.”

PHOTO ID—Unless the U. S. Justice Department notifies Texas otherwise, a photo ID will be required to cast a ballot in 2012 elections.

According to the Texas Secretary of State, the most common photo ID accepted for voting purposes will be the Texas driver’s license.

But voting officials will also accept a Texas Election Identification Certificate, Texas Personal Identification Card or a Texas Concealed Handgun License, all issued by the DPS.

A passport, military identification card with photo or a U. S. citizenship certificate with photo will also be accepted.

With the exception of the citizenship certificate, all of the ID items listed above must be current or expired no more than 60 days.

Those without photo IDs will be allowed to cast provisional ballots but must present one of the accepted photo IDs within six days of the election date in order to have their ballot counted.


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