Voters head to polls

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Voters will go to the polls today to cast ballots in dozens of city and school board races, including hotly contested races for Denton mayor and City Council seats and a $45 million school bond package in Argyle.

Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across Denton County. Voters must go to the polling site for their precinct location and must have a photo ID.

Voter turnout has been higher than usual in many areas, including Denton, but there have been no reports of problems with voters not having proper identification, said Frank Phillips, Denton County elections administrator.

He said there has been some confusion among voters with the primary runoff election, which will be held on May 27. Early voting in that election — which features a contested district attorney’s race and two contested justice of the peace seats — begins May 19.

“In my mind, it’s unfortunate that the Legislature has these races so close together,” Phillips said. “We have the primary, then we have the cities and schools, and then we have the primary runoff.”

He said several voters have shown up for early voting expecting to vote in the runoff, and voters casting absentee ballots have already been mailed ballots for both elections.

“They are crossing in the mail,” Phillips said.

In Denton, early voting is nearly 30 percent higher than in 2012, the last year that a mayor’s race was on the ballot.

In 2012, 3,944 votes were cast in Denton races, including 2,289 early ballots. This year, 2,910 voters have cast early ballots.

Turnout has also been heavy in Argyle, where two incumbents are facing challengers on the Town Council and voters within the school district are casting ballots for three school board positions and a bond package.

Early voting in Argyle is up nearly 25 percent since last year in the city election, and nearly twice as many people have voted in the school election this year than last year.

Not every voting location has seen a rush of voters, however. In the town of Dish, where voters are considering propositions that would create three separate sales taxes, only one person cast an early ballot, records show.

The Denton County elections office is handling the elections for almost every race in the county, Phillips said.

DIANNA HUNT can be reached at 940-566-6884 and on Twitter at @DiannaHunt.

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