Voting machines

AUTUMN OWENS/WD PHOTO

Parker County Elections Administrator Don Markum with voting equipment from Hart InterCivic.

Parker County residents can soon head to the polls to cast their votes in local races and state constitutional amendments when early voting begins Monday.

All county residents will be able to vote for or against 10 state constitutional amendments and Brock ISD, city of Brock and Aledo ISD residents will make their decision on bonds and city officials.

Brock ISD will have a $21.36 million bond election, which will fund new security enhancements, school buses, more classrooms at the high school and junior high school, technology upgrades, an agriculture building lab for welding and fabrication and a junior high gymnasium. There will be no tax rate increase with the bond and the district lowered the overall tax rate by 12 cents.

In the city of Brock mayoral race, Brock City Commissioner Jay Hamilton will be running against Delta Airlines Captain Steve Aue. Current Mayor Troy Snow is not seeking re-election for the position.

In the race for Brock city commissioner, Jowell Ranspot and Benjamin Kent Davis both filed for the open city commissioner spots. Current Brock Commissioner Deborah Scrimshire and former commissioner West Matthew Heistermann have also filed for city commissioner.

Aledo ISD will have a $149.95 million bond on the ballot, which will be used for a second middle school, renovations to Aledo Middle School, a sixth elementary school, renovations to McAnally Intermediate, renovations to Vandagriff Elementary into an early childhood campus, furniture replacement at three elementary schools, land for future school sites and additional school buses. There will be no tax rate increase with the bond and the district was able to lower the tax rate by 10 cents after the passing of House Bill 3.

Election day is Nov. 5, but Parker County Elections Administrator Don Markum said residents shouldn’t wait until then to vote.

“With new [voting] machines, it will take a little longer to cast your vote,” Markum said. “So don’t wait until election day to cast your vote.”

The new voting equipment from current vendor Hart InterCivic was approved in the county budget by the Parker County commissioners on Sept. 23. The county received 175 ballot marking devices, 50 digital ballot scanners and 50 controllers to replace the previous 15-year-old equipment.

“The benefit of having these is now we have a paper trail where if something goes wrong, we can go back and do a hand count with the paper trail,” Markum said in a previous interview with the Weatherford Democrat. “It’s a little more work for the election worker, and for the voter, it will just take a little bit longer, but as far as what people want with accountability, it’s a lot better.”

Early voting will end on Nov. 1 and the voting sites are the Aledo ISD Administration building, the Brock Fire Department, the Willow Park Municipal building, the Peaster ISD Rock Gym, Municipal Court Annex in Springtown, the Azle Masonic Lodge and the Parker County Courthouse Annex.

For more information about the Nov. 5 election visit the county’s website at parkercountytx.com or the Office of the Texas Secretary of State website at www.sos.state.tx.us

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