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EDINBURG — After a lengthy and delayed process to get the 2012 primary elections underway due to federal and state redistricting, the Hidalgo County Elections Department officials said they have been working to ensure that the county is prepared for the primary elections.

The department has redrawn voting precinct lines, moved voters into their new precincts, confirmed addresses, and mailed out new voter registration certificates, all the while preparing the voting machines and ballots for the elections that will be held in May – city and school and also the primary elections. Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramón urged residents to be aware of several key issues regarding the 2012 primary election process.

Precinct redistricting

Every 10 years after the U.S. Census is completed, the elections department reviews voting precincts to align with redistricting of local, state and federal districts. The department redrew voting precinct boundaries to accommodate the changes, resulting in an increase of voting precincts in Hidalgo County. Registered voters are encouraged to see whether their precinct changed by visiting the Elections Website at www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/elections.

Address confirmations

Last week, the elections department mailed out over 22,000 letters to registered voters whose descriptive physical addresses were incomplete, indecipherable, or contained insufficient information to assign to a new voting precinct. These letters are an attempt to revise incomplete addresses in the system and ensure that the registered voters are placed in their correct assigned voting precinct.

Ramón asked recipients of the letters to respond accordingly with their 9-1-1 address or a descriptive address with at least the nearest street intersection and the direction on the street (north, south, east, or west) so that the department could correctly identify their physical location. Making these corrections in a timely manner will ensure that voters do not experience a delay when they arrive at their polling location, officials said; those registered voters whose addresses remain insufficient will be asked to update their address information before they are allowed to vote.

Voter registration certificates 

The elections department mailed out the new voter registration cards on Wednesday. The new cards are canary yellow in color, and will have voters’ new voting precinct, if it changed. If there are any changes that need to be made, they must be done by Monday to take effect for this election.

Deadline to register, make changes

Monday is the last day to register to vote or make any changes to your voter information.  Residents are encouraged to contact the elections department to make any necessary changes before Monday’s deadline.

Elections schedule

Polling locations are being finalized and will be available on the elections Website at www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/elections. Early voting for the 2012 primary election begins on Monday, May 14 and ends on Friday, May 25. Election Day is Tuesday, May 29.

For more information on the 2012 Primary Elections, contact the elections department at 956-318-2570 or visit the Website at www.co.hidalgo.tx.us/elections.

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