By Sheila Gilmore and Becky Brewster

Early voting for the Primary Elections begins February 16th and will continue until the 26th.  Some say that elections are won or lost in the Early Voting.  I’m not so sure about that, but I definitely think it’s a good idea to vote early, especially if you know you will be out of town March 1st.

What you should know about Primaries:

Keep in mind that this is a Primary Election, not the General Election, which will happen in November.  In the Republican Primary, the Republicans choose who in their Party will run against the other Parties’ representatives in November.  In the Democrat Primary, the Democrats choose who in their Party will run against the other candidates in November.  So in a Primary Election, you have to choose in which Party’s election you will vote before you can cast your ballot.  Once you have chosen which Party’s Primary in which you will participate, you can then choose the person on the ballot whom you think is the best candidate in each race.

How do I choose a Party?

All those candidates running under the Democrats Party have pledged to support and promote the Democrats Platform; likewise, those running under the Republican Party have pledged to support and promote the Republican Platform.  A Party’s Platform is a list of values and actions supported by the Party and/or their candidates for the coming legislative session or political term.    In other words, each Party declares what they want to accomplish with their elected officials should they get into office.  So…vote your values.  Look at each Party’s Platform and determine which one matches your desires for your elected officials.

A simple Google search of Republican or Democrat Party Platform should reveal a long document outlining the Party’s values and agenda.

Note: You will only be able to vote on one ballot – either the Democrat or the Republican – but not both.  In other words, if you want to vote for a Republican Presidential candidate, you will not be able to vote for our local Sherriff and vice versa; their races are on two different ballots.

Where do I vote?

Early Voting.  The County Clerk’s office will be open 8 am to 5 pm Monday – Friday during the Early Voting dates (February 16th – 26th).  All who are registered to vote are encouraged to stop by at any time during those hours to cast your ballot.

Election Day on March 1st.  This year, Culberson County voters will be directed to consolidated polling places for the Democrat and Republican Party Joint Primaries scheduled for March 1, 2016.  The polling place for Precinct 3-3 will remain open on the mountain; however, the former sites at the Kennedy Hall, the County Barn and the CCAISD Administration building will merge into ONE site with the site at the Culberson County Courthouse located at 300 La Caverna.  Election coordinators indicate that this will lead to a more efficient and cost-effective process for the County.   Signs will be placed on the closed sites on Election Day redirecting voters to the Courthouse.

If you have registered to vote, voting in this year’s Primaries in Culberson County will be easy.  Put the 16th on your calendar and plan to stop by the County Clerk’s office to cast your ballot.


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