The Texas Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, March 3. Early voting in the General Election begins on Tuesday, February 18 and runs through Friday, February 28. If you have not registered to vote by now, it is too late for this election. It is a bit confusing this year, as there is also a Municipal Election in May for City officials, School Board, etc. The March 3 election is the Primary Election, which is includes Federal, State and County offices. Early voting will be done at the Terry County Elections Office at 507-A West Main, in Brownfield. This is on The Square, north of the Courthouse.
There are many offices on the ballot for this year’s Primary Election, and plenty of people running. There are 17 names on the Democratic ballot for President and seven names on the Republican ballot for the same office. We will also be voting for a United States Senator, and United State Representative.
Statewide, there are always plenty of offices on the ballot, and plenty of names of folks desiring to fill those positions. Of most interest, locally are the offices of State Board of Education – District 15, State Senator – District 28, and State Representative – District 83.
In Terry County, we will be voting for County Attorney, Sheriff, County Tax Assessor-Collector, and a County Chair for each party. Those living in Precinct 3 will also be voting on a County Commissioner. The are two locally contested races on the Republican ballot. One is for the office of Sheriff. This race pits current Interim Sheriff Timothy Click against Jeff Rolen and Matthew Valdonado, both newcomers to the political arena. The other is for the office of Tax Assessor-Collector which has incumbent Rexann Furlow facing Janie Pina Fletcher.
In the Primary, you must choose whether to vote Republican or Democrat. You may choose only one ballot. Voting Republican or Democratic does not tie you to that party when the General Election is held in November. This vote is for the Primary only. However, if you vote Democratic and there is a run-off in the Republican race after the Primary, you are not eligible to vote. In the case of a run-off in a Primary, only those who voted on that party’s ballot in the Primary are eligible to vote in the run-off. Clear as mud? This is a bit hard to explain, but once you choose a party in the Primary election, you are tied to that particular party throughout the Primary voting period. In November, you may vote for candidates from both parties on one ballot.
Take time, before you get into the voting booth, to educate yourself on the candidates in each race. If you do not know anything about any candidate in any race, resist the urge to just simply vote for someone. If you have not educated yourself on any race, you would do well to simply leave that race unmarked. But, you are urged to educate yourself on every race, not just those locally and not just those in our Federal government.
Also on the back of each party’s ballot are a series of Propositions. These are simply propositions for each party’s platform. Voting yes on any of these does not mean we are voting any of the propositions into law. We will simply be voting on party platform policy only.
In order to vote, you must bring with you a form of photo identification.
Here are the seven types of photo ID accepted under the law:
- State drivers license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate (issued by DPS)
- Texas personal identification card (issued by DPS)
- Texas license to carry a handgun (issued by DPS)
- U.S. military ID card that includes a personal photo
- U.S. citizenship certificate that includes a personal photo
- U.S. passport
Voters who do not have any of those documents and cannot “reasonably obtain” them can still cast a vote if they sign a form in which they swear that they have a “reasonable impediment” which kept them from obtaining appropriate identification. Those voters will also have to present one of the following types of ID:
- Valid voter registration certificate
- Certified birth certificate
- Copy or original of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other document that shows the voter’s name and address (any government document that contains a voter’s photo must be an original)
Bottom line: If you have qualifying photo ID, bring it. But if you have not obtained one, you can still cast a ballot using other forms of ID.
This is a very important election in our Nation, as well as State and County. Do not let your voice go unheard, but be sure you have educated yourself on the people running and what they truly represent.