Close Races Could Lead to Run-Off Elections - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/9/04

Close Races Could Lead to Run-Off Elections

The word 'run-off' comes up when we have a race with several candidates. There are two March races in particular that could very well end up in a run-off.

Take the race for County Commissioner Precinct 1 for example. Because there are four Republican candidates, the likelihood of one them getting over 50% of the vote as required is reduced. It's a similar scenerio in the race for County Commisioner Precint 3.  Three Democratic candidates will split Tuesday's results. 

Lubbock County Elections Coordinator, Dorothy Kennedy, says "A candidate has to have 50% plus one vote to be considered having the majority of the election. If that doesn't happen, then we go into what's called a run-off and the top two candidates will go head to head against each other in April."

Whether you vote in the Republican or Democratic primary, you're forced to stick with that party if there is a run-off. Dorothy says, "If you vote Republican in March, you have to vote in a run-off on the Republican side if there's one in your area. If you didn't vote at all in March, then you can vote either way, whichever party has the run-off."  

Extended run-off elections mean candidates have to hit the campaign trail that much harder even though the turnout is usually not as great. If it's a state-wide run-off everyone in any county who voted in that party's primary can vote again, however if the run-off only involves one precinct, only voters in that precinct can vote again.

Run-off elections are scheduled for April 13th. Early voting would begin April 5th and end the 9th. The deadline to register to vote is March 13th. Also, in case you're wondering, party affiliations are not a factor in the November elections. You can vote for any party in any race.

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