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Absentee voting underway in city election

Absentee ballots are now available for voting in this year’scity elections, and City Clerk Iris Rudman is reminding citizens ofsome primary-related choices that Ward 4 voters will have tomake.

If citizens know they will be out of town for the first partyprimary on Tuesday, May 1, they may come by her office and voteabsentee now, Rudman said.

Rudman also reminded citizens that the deadline to register andbe eligible to vote in the May 1 primary is April 1. The voterregistration deadline for the June 5 general election is May 5,Rudman said.

“The main message we want to get out is if they are notregistered, they need to get registered,” Rudman said. “The soonerthe better.”

Rudman also advised voters who have changed addresses since thelast election to make sure they are registered in their newlocations.

“If they’ve moved, they need to get in the right ward or they’llhave to vote affidavit,” Rudman said.

Regarding voting, Rudman said she has received four or fivequestions about primary voting procedures on May 1 and in anyrunoffs on May 15.

The city has a “closed primary” system, and there will not beany “crossover” voting. That means a person who votes in theDemocratic first primary will not be able to vote in a secondRepublican primary, and a person who votes in the Republican firstprimary will not be able to participate in any Democraticrun-offs.

“They’re going to have to show a preference this time,” Rudmansaid.

The situation applies to Ward 4, where there are threeRepublican candidates seeking the alderman post. Ward 4 is the onlyward where there will be both Republican and Democratic partyprimaries.

The Democratic Ward 4 alderman candidate is unopposed, but partycandidates in races for city-wide offices must be decided.

In Wards 1, 2 and 3, there are no Republican candidates so therewill not be a Republican primary, Rudman said. In Wards 5 and 6,the Republican candidates are unopposed, so there will be noRepublican primaries in those areas either, the city clerksaid.

Democratic party primaries will be held in all six citywards.

The general election ballot will list party primary winners andan independent mayoral candidate for voters to make their finalelection decisions, Rudman said.