Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Election Day 2012 has arrived.
The most anticipated election day in recent memory is here and thousands of Americans, especially Orange County residents, have been heading to the polls in record numbers during the recent early voting period.
Orange County shattered its previous early voting turnout record of 17,375 by more than 15 percent as 20,097 ballots were submitted in person by registered voters and received through the U.S. mail by the Orange County Election Administrator’s office.
“We were expecting a large voter turnout, and it definitely was,” said Tina Barrow, Orange County Election Administrator, of the record early voting. “We are expecting a large turnout on election day as well. We have plenty of supplies ordered and ready to go.”
Barrow expects a large number of the approximately 50,000 registered voters in Orange County who have yet to vote in the November general election to do so on Tuesday.
“A lot of people will still come out and vote on election day, but they may have to wait in lines,” Barrow added. “People should be prepared to be patient, but our election judges will be as thorough and as quick as possible.”
The biggest race of the election will surely have a large number of voters heading to the poll this election as President Barack Obama attempts to seek re-election against Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Other presidential candidates include Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
The race for U.S. Senator will feature Republican candidate Ted Cruz against Democratic nominee Paul Sadler and Libertarian candidate John Jay Myers and Green Party nominee David B. Collins as each candidate looks to replace Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is retiring.
Another race which Orange County voters will be deciding has Republican Steve Stockman attempting to return to office for the first time since the 1990s as he takes on Democrat Max Martin and Libertarian Michael K. Cole for the newly created U.S. District 36 seat.
Locally, there will be five contested county races this election year as well as one school board election.
The open County Court at Law seat will feature Republican candidate Mandy White-Rogers against Democrat nominee Mike Abbott.
Two seats are up for election on the Orange County Commissioners Court, and each race features well known figures.
Incumbent David Dubose, a Republican, will take on challenger, and former county commissioner, Democratic nominee James Stringer for the County Commissioner Precinct 1 seat, while Democratic incumbent John Dubose is being opposed by Republican candidate John Banken for the County Commissioner seat in Precinct 3.
There are also two races on the ballot this November for Orange County Constable.
The Precinct 1 race will feature Republican incumbent Chris Humble and, his opponent, Democratic candidate Sarah Jefferson-Simon, while the race for Precinct 2 features Democratic candidate Lynn Arceneaux against Republican candidate David A. Cagle.
The Orangefield Independent School District has an election every two years, and this year’s is shaping up to be like no other in recent memory for the local school district.
A total of nine candidates are seeking four open school board seats. This school board race has OISD residents coming out in record numbers as well as 644 people submitted ballots during the 11-day early voting period.
School board seats for Place I, Place III, Place VI and Place VII are up this election. Three seats are vacant and will feature new Trustees as previous Trustees Susan Gunstream, Donna Gail Ford and Thad Angelle have chosen not to seek re-election.
Place I candidates are Juan Gonzales Jr. and Van H. “Bo” Henley. Place III incumbent Nancy Ashworth is being opposed by Jesse B. Freemont.
The battle for the Place VI seat features John Dorman against Ronald K. Risinger, and three candidates, Brad Frye, Richard Durkin and Jason Guidroz, are looking to win the Place VII position.
OISD patrons at Box 23, which is the Orangefield High School library, will be able to vote in both the general election and the OISD at the same location, as will those district patrons voting at Box 22 at Pecan Acres Baptist Church on Duncan Woods Lane in Vidor.
Residents who are voting at Boxes 13, 30 and 32, which is the Texas Department of Transportation on State Highway 62 in Orange, will only be able to vote in the OISD election at this location and must go to a separate location for the general election.
District patrons voting at Box 15, which is also the TxDOT office, can vote in both elections at this site.
People may call the Orange County Election Administrator’s office at 409-882-7973 with questions on any of the local races, including Orangefield ISD.
Election Day is from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., today, Tuesday, Nov. 6. Stay up to date on election results at www.orangeleader.com throughout election night.