Party primaries set for Tuesday

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 4, 2003

Tuesday marks the first round of the 2003 election cycle asvoters go to the polls to participate in party primaries for state,regional and county contests.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. for votingthe Democratic and Republican primaries.

“We definitely want to encourage everyone to get out and vote,”said Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins, who isunopposed for her third term in office.

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Watkins reminded voters there is no crossover primary voting andthey will either have to participate in the Democratic orRepublican primary.

“You’ve got to decide, Democrat or Republican, and that will bethe way you have to vote on the 26th,” Watkins said.

Where no candidate receives a majority of the vote, primaryrun-offs are set for Aug. 26. Primary winners will face off in thegeneral election on Nov. 4.

The Democratic primary ballot features 18 contested races fromgovernor to constable. The Republican primary ballot has six,although the only area contests are for House District 53representative and sheriff.

Watkins was unsure how many would vote in the Republicanprimary.

“I don’t know how many people vote right down party lines,”Watkins said. “I think a lot of people tend to vote for theperson.”

Many Lincoln County voters affected by redistricting will bevoting in different precincts, supervisor districts or both. Theredistricting was needed to equalize populations among supervisordistricts.

“It’s not necessarily anything we wanted to do. It’s justsomething that happens every 10 years,” Watkins said.

Approximately 2,000 voters had to be administrativelyre-registered after new lines were drawn. Affected voters werenotified by mail of the changes.

Watkins said questions about the changes had slowed down andmost of those had been receptive once the situation had beenexplained.

“A lot of people were just confused,” she said.

Watkins was hopeful any lingering confusion doesn’t ariseTuesday. However, her office is ready should there be any questionsabout voting places.

“We’ll do our best to direct them to the correct polling place,”Watkins said.

Approximately 500 people had voted absentee through Saturday andWatkins was optimistic of a good turnout Tuesday.

“We’ve got a good weather forecast,” Watkins said. “Go vote. Youcan make a difference.”