With several county commissioners, justice of the peace judges and a county clerk up for election, turnout was expected to be higher.
But, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Mirella Escamilla Davis, county clerk and election clerk, said, “I anticipated a larger crowd from both parties.”
With both parties having candidates in the Precinct 4 commissioner’s race and a Republican battle for the commissioner race in north Bee County (Pct. 2), turnout, she said, should have been higher because even statewide races have drawn in many cases multiple candidates.
“I am not seeing the numbers I wish I would see,” she said.
By the end of the day Wednesday, only 647 voters had come into the courthouse to vote. Of those, 345 were voting in the Democratic primary and 302 in the Republican primary. Couple that with 66 mail ballots for Republicans and 299 Democratic ballots, and the total is only 1,012.
“I am really surprised our numbers are not up,” se said.
Election day is Tuesday, March 4, and voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
What’s in store that day is anyone’s guess.
Davis said, “I don’t know if people are waiting for election day to vote or not.”
Others might just be waiting until the general election in November.
Yet, it is this March election that will determine who is on that ballot.
Highlighting local contested races, Dennis DeWitt, the incumbent, and Raul “Rudy” Garcia are running for county commissioner, Precinct 2, on the Republican ballot.
Vying for county commissioner in Precinct 4 are Fred Stark and incumbent Ken Haggard on the GOP ballot, and Ronnie Olivares and Dela Cagle Castillo on the Democrat side.
Mirella Escamilla Davis, the incumbent, is being challenged by Ami Salazar Fernandez for county clerk on the Democratic ballot.
Two justice of the peace races will be contested by the county’s Democrat voters.
In Precinct 1, Susana Salazar Contreras, Efrain (Cowboy) Ibarra and Vicente G. Barrera are the contestants to replace Raul Casarez, who is running for county judge. In Precinct 3, David Gutierrez will face Abel Suniga, the current officeholder.
Texas has open primaries, meaning a voter can cast a ballot in either party’s primary, regardless of whether he or she has voted in that party’s primary before.
Voters are reminded that if they sign a petition for a candidate, then they shall vote in that party’s primary. They cannot cross over to vote in the other party’s runoff election.
Registered voters in these primary elections must show a valid photo ID, according to Texas law—not the voter registration certificate as in past elections.