Despite four contested school board races in Hempstead County, early voting in the Sept. 17 school election opened Tuesday with a yawn.
A total of 10 votes were cast on the first day of early and absentee voting at the Hempstead County Clerk's office in the Hempstead County Courthouse.
Hempstead County Clerk Sandra Rodgers said all early and absentee voting in the Hope, Spring Hill, and Blevins school elections will be conducted in her offices at the courthouse during regular office hours from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday – Friday.
Rodgers said there will not be any special hours for early voting in school district balloting.
Applications for absentee ballots may be obtained during regular office hours, or by mail through the early voting period which concludes Sept. 16.
On election day, Sept. 17, all precincts in the Hope Public School District vote at Fair Park Community Center, precincts in the Blevins School District vote at Word of Faith Church in Blevins, and Spring Hill precincts vote at the Spring Hill Fire Department, Rodgers said.
All Hope school board members are seeking office under a new districting plan approved in May by a federal judge, stemming from the 2010 U. S. Census.
Filings in Hope include: Zone 1 – Viney Johnson, incumbent, and Janice Milus; Zone 2 – Mildred Green, incumbent; Zone 3 – Willie Buck, Jr., incumbent; Zone 4 – Joe Short, incumbent; Zone 5 – Danny Watson, incumbent, and Val R. Knight; Zone 6 – Denny Dickinson, incumbent, and Larry D. Johnson; and Zone 7 – Jesus Coronado, incumbent.
Board members will draw for terms of service after the election, under the court order.
No candidates have filed for office in the only position open in the Blevins School District.
Board member Mike Parker will continue to serve by appointment in Zone 2, according to Blevins Superintendent Billy Lee. Parker does not live in Zone 2, but is the only person willing to serve in the position, Lee said.
The problem stems from the consolidation of the Emmet Public Schools into the Blevins district more than a decade ago, according to Lee.
One contested race will be on the ballot in the Spring Hill School District, with Position 1 incumbent Mary Plant facing challenger Jerry D. Rogers. Eric Fisher and Joey Anderson were the only candidates to file for Position 3 and 4, respectively.