University an early voting site for county

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    The university will be one of eight temporary early voting locations in Tarrant County starting next week, a TCU official said.

    Early voting will be located near the 1873 Grill in the Brown-Lupton University Union starting Monday, said Cyndi Walsh, assistant dean of Student Development Services. Tarrant County election officials will be monitoring early voting on campus, Walsh said.

    According to the Tarrant County Election Center’s Web site, voters who are registered in Tarrant County can vote early at any Tarrant County early voting location, unlike election day, when voters must go to a specific poll station.

    Jana Johnson, county elections manager, said 28,764 people voted in Tarrant County on Monday, breaking the previous record, when 17,685 people cast their ballot on the first day of early voting in 2004.

    The TCU College Republicans are having a rally to kick off the early voting Monday.

    Kimberly Dena, chairman of TCU College Republicans, said the rally will be located at the field behind the Kelly Alumni Center.

    “We are really trying to encourage people to vote early and not wait until the last minute,” Dena said.

    Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, former Secretary of State and TCU alumnus Roger Williams and Republican Sen. John Cornyn are scheduled to attend the rally, Dena said.

    The TCU Democrats will also have an early voting event Tuesday called TCU Democrats Professor Dunk-a-ton. There will be a dunking booth at the Campus Commons from noon to 3 p.m. where students can dunk various professors and faculty such as political science professor Eric Cox and Student Development Services official Carrie Zimmerman, said Liz Slagle, president of TCU Democrats.

    Yolanda Ramirez, early voting coordinator of the Tarrant County Election Center, said this is not the first time the university has been an early voting site.

    “In 2004, our center decided to try to use education centers like universities as early voting stations,” Ramirez said. “They used TCU along with several other universities and since it worked so well, we did it again in 2006 for the Senate and congressional election.”

    Ramirez said early voting in Tarrant County will run through Oct. 31. Voters need to bring their voter registration card, state ID or driver’s license, Ramirez said.

    Bianca Castro, a freshman pre-med and Spanish major, said the campus being an early voting site is helpful.

    “I am registered in Tarrant County, but I do not have a car, so being able to vote on campus is convenient way for me to vote,” Castro said.

    There are 37 permanent early voting locations and eight temporary locations in Tarrant County. To find the closest voting center, call the Tarrant County Election Center at 817-831-8683 or visit the center’s Web site at www.tarrantcounty.com/evote.

    The deadline to receive an absentee ballot is Oct. 28, Walsh said.