Voters head to the polls today to decide on the Republican and Democratic nominees for the November general election. In many cases, the winner of today’s primary election will automatically win the office he or she seeks because there won’t be any opposition in November.

From the race for governor and lieutenant governor, state representative to local races such as county judge, county commissioner, district attorney and district courts, there are 12 contested local races on today’s ballots. Ten of those are on the Republican side of the ticket, while there are only two contested local races for Democrats to decide.

Bill Sargent, the deputy county clerk in charge of elections, expects a “really big” turnout today.

More than 13,000 voters went to the polls during the early voting period. Because of that turnout, Sargent expects as many if not more will go to the polls today.

“In general elections, the early voting turnout is generally (larger) than the election day, turnout,” Sargent said. “By looking at the results from the past elections, during the primaries, it’s just the opposite.”

Sargent couldn’t explain why there is a difference, just that voting history shows more voters go to the polls on primary election day.

With a Republican-heavy ballot, of the 13,018 who went to the polls during early voting, 10,417 were GOP voters compared to 2,601 who voted in the Democratic primary.

And it would appear that for maybe as many as four GOP races, today won’t be the end of campaigning as runoff elections loom.

There’s a chance there will be a runoff in the Republican primary for County Commissioner Precinct 2, with a field of six candidates; the 212th District Court and County Court No. 3 races, each with four candidates; and the 212th District Court and County Court No. 3, each with three candidates.

In each of those races, the eventual primary winner will be elected to office because of no opposition in November.

The county has 39 voting centers that will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Regardless of where a registered voter lives, he or she can vote at any of those centers.

And while it hasn’t been an issue during early voting, Sargent wanted to remind voters that they must have a valid photo ID in order to cast a ballot today. 

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or

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