Primary early voting starts

PNT Staff Report

Early voting in the primaries begins today in Roosevelt County.

“Early voting has gotten to be real popular,” Roosevelt County Clerk Janet Collins said. “In fact, early voting has become our largest precinct.”

Voters can begin early in-person voting at the clerk’s office at 8 a.m. and vote during normal office hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday through May 31. Collins says she will also likely announce early voting hours on the last Saturday before voting closes at her office.

In addition to the Clerk’s office, beginning on May 20, the alternate early voting in-person site at the Portales Public Library will be open. Hours there will be noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

Collins says that 5 p.m. today is the deadline to register to vote in the primaries. For the general election that cutoff is 28 days before the election.

Locally, the election features two contested races in the Republican primary — one for county commissioner and the other for probate judge.

Richard “Rick” Leal faces incumbent David Sanders in the Republican race for District 2 Roosevelt County commissioner. The winner doesn’t have an opponent in the general since no one filed for the Democratic nomination.

The race for probate judge has three Republicans, Barbara George, Laverne Standifer and Mitchell “Mickey” Morgan vying for the opportunity to face the lone Democrat, Mark Paternoster in the general election. Current probate judge Nancy Gentry is term-limited.

Jake Lopez is unopposed for the District 1 commissioner seat as are incumbent County Clerk Collins, and new Mickie Williams for treasurer.

Collins said that recent tallies of registered voters showed that there were 3,620 Democrats and 4,519 Republicans registered in the county. She said that could change slightly but she expects more than 8,000 voters to be eligible to vote in the primaries.

“If we got 30 percent (turnout) I think that would be a pretty good turnout, Collins said. “Personally I’d like to see 95 percent.”

She says turnout may be hurt by the fact that there is no Democratic choice for president on the ballot and the Republican presidential primary has already been settled.

Collins says people can pickup applications for absentee ballots by mail in person or may send a caregiver or spouse to pick one up. They may also call the Clerk’s office to have one mailed to them. Mail ballots are due in her office by 5 p.m. on May 29.

In person voting at the polls is June 3.

Information: Roosevelt County Clerk’s Office 356-8562.

Primary Sample Ballots

Republican
President

John McCain
Ron Paul
U.S. Senator
Steve Pearce
Heather Wilson
U.S. Representative
District 3
Marco E. Gonzales
Daniel K. East
State Senator
District 27
Stuart Ingle
District 42
Gay G. Kernan
State Representative
District 63
Matthew D. Rush
District 66
Keith Gardner
District 67
Dennis J. Roch
District Attorney
Matthew E. Chandler
County Treasurer
Mickie M. Williams
Probate Judge
Barbara A. George
C. Laverne Standifer
Mitchell C. Morgan
County Commissioner
District 2*
David C. Sanders
Richard Leal

Democratic
U.S. Senator

Tom Udall
U.S. Representative
District 3

Ben R. Lujan
Donald H. Wiviott
Benny J. Shendo Jr.
Harry B. Montoya
Jon Adams
Rudy Martin
Justice of the Supreme Court
Charles W. Daniels
State Representative
District 63
Jose A. Campos II
District 67
Van Robertson
Craig L. Cosner
District Judge
Drew Tatum
Public Education Commission
Carolyn Kennedy Shearman
County Commissioner
District 1*
Jake J. Lopez
County Clerk
E. Janet Collins
Probate Judge
Mark B. Paternoster

* Note Voters in precincts 1, 7, 8 are in County Commissioner District 1. Voters in precincts 2, 12, 18, 20 are in County Commissioner District 2.