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Voters’ wait almost over

The wait is almost over. Early voting begins Monday for the May 12 municipal and school elections, and across Denton County, residents will be able to visit an early polling site to cast ballots in their respective city council and school board races.

We encourage you to vote, whether you choose to cast your ballot early or wait until Election Day. Most Denton County cities and school boards have key leadership positions on the ballot, and you owe it yourself and your community to participate in the election process.

If you choose to vote during the period set aside for early voting by personal appearance, which runs from Monday through May 8, you can visit any of the 22 early voting locations in the county to cast your ballot in local elections. On election day, however, you must vote at the location assigned to your precinct.

Early voting also provides more flexible scheduling. The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 7-8. And like we said, registered voters can cast a ballot at any early voting location.

Thanks to the variety of hours and the ease of choosing from a list of 22 early voting locations across the county, there should be no excuse for failing to vote. And if you decide to wait until May 12 to cast your ballot, you’ll be able to do so from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election workers will do their best to keep the lines moving quickly.

We know a lot of folks who enjoy voting on election day. They consider it a patriotic tradition and an honor. When you stop and think about it, taking a few minutes to vote really isn’t that much of a sacrifice.

But for some busy families, Saturdays are usually reserved for youth sports or other activities, and for them, the opportunity to vote at any early voting site and the flexible hours reserved for early voting are a real blessing. Why not drop by a polling place during your lunch hour or plan to visit early or late on one of the two days offering extended hours?

If you haven’t received your voter registration card yet, don’t worry. You won’t need it if you can provide some other form of identification.

“Because of the lawsuit over redistricting, we didn’t get the voter registration cards in the mail until Thursday,” Frank Phillips, Denton County elections administrator, told us. “But for us, it doesn’t matter at all. Registered voters are in the [computer] system.”

Precinct numbers have changed — that was also part of redistricting, Phillips said. If a voter wants to look up their sample ballot, he recommended going to a conversion chart at www.elections.dentoncounty.com and typing in the old precinct number to find the new precinct number and the corresponding ballot.

“If you still have questions after that, please call us and we’ll try to lead you in the right direction,” Phillips said. That telephone number is 940-349-3200.

We’ll also be printing sample ballots soon, so you’ll be able to check out how your choices will be listed when you get to a polling place. And we’ll print them again before Election Day, just in case you miss them the first time around. See you at the polls.