Three Contendors for W.F. District Three Seat

The Wichita Falls municipal election was on the verge of being cancelled. But on this final day to file for office, three people turned in paperwork to run for district three.
    There are no challengers to the incumbents in the other three seats that were up for grabs.
   This means there *will* be an election in part of the city ... but only for District 3.
    The District Three seat is being vacated by Rick Hatcher, who has already reached his term limit ...
    The three names you'll see on the ballot if you live in that district are: Casey O'Donnell, Steve Whitson and Brian Hooker.
    Coordinating this year's election has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Wichita Falls city clerk Lydia Ozuna.
    First, the city's district lines changed due to the census.
   "The voters do need to be very well aware of the fact that all the voting precinct numbers have changed completely."
    That means some voters may have different polling places than they used in the past.  Then, there's all the confusion with state redistricting.
   "Things are not the norm."
    The city always leases electronic voting equipment from Wichita County.  But now that the primaries have been pushed back, county clerk Lori Bohannon says she won't have time to lease the equipment to the city for the May 12th election ... then reprogram the machines and test them in time for early voting for the primary -- which begins on the 14th.
   "I have talked to her several times to make sure that there isn't any way that she could work on the equipment & also we could utilize the iVotronics. But she has said no. So, we are going to have to go to paper ballots. They're optical scan - nevertheless, they are paper ballots."
    That means voting will be more time-consuming.
   "Before, you'd come in, sign in, were qualified, & then do the touch screen & we're done. And not this year - they're going to have to take time & fill out the ovals."
    Ozuna's hoping voters will utilize patience -- and maybe some nostalgia -- as incentive to take a few minutes to vote.
   "I mean, we've had such a bad turnout in past years, & you know, think about it as a new experience. You know, how it used to be - just kind of bringing the past back into the future. So if we can have that kind of a positive take on it, maybe they'll come out and say, 'Hey, this is the way it used to be done!'"
    District three will have three polling locations: Jefferson Elementary, Cunningham Elementary, and MSU.
   Maps should be online by the end of the week.  Or, if you aren't sure if you're in District 3, you can call the city clerk's office, at 761-7409.

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