Early voting for March primary begins Tuesday, Feb. 18

KCBD: Voters urged to prepare for lengthy ballots

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Voters are encouraged to do their homework ahead of entering the voting booth for the March Primary Election. With more candidates and more races than usual, there will be more to review when casting your ballot.

“We do expect this year that we will see people spending more time in the booths, just because our ballots are longer and we have more candidates on different races this time than we have had in previous years,” Lubbock County Elections Administrator Dorothy Kennedy said.

The voting machine will only show one race at a time. The Lubbock County Elections Office is encouraging voters to review their sample ballots to help you move efficiently through the voting process.

“We have been recommending they can go onto our website at votelubbock.org and download their sample ballot,” Kennedy said. “Fill it out at home, study the candidates and they can go ahead and pre-mark their sample ballot and take it with them to the voting booth during early voting or on Election Day. They can use that to quickly reference and process through their ballot.”

Kennedy tells KCBD that voters who haven’t cast a ballot since the last Presidential Election will be using the County’s voting equipment purchased in 2017 for the first time.

“They are going to see a difference in that it’s touch screen,” Kennedy said. “We do have some of the booths that still have the wheel for those people that want to continue to use the wheel.”

Before you get to the booth, voters will have to present one of the seven forms of photo identification. If the voter does not have that Texas or Federal Government identification, a voter can fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and present an item like a recently issued government check, utility bill or bank statement.

Since it is a primary election, voters will also tell the election worker which ballot, Democratic or Republican, they would like to vote on. Voters can verbally make the selection or point to the party ballot.

Kennedy urges voters to take advantage of the early voting period, which runs from February 18-28. There are 20 locations to pick from in Lubbock County during those 11 days. She said the busiest days tend to be the first two and last two, with the weekend being the slowest.

“We have put out plenty of equipment at all of our locations and workers,” Kennedy said. “We are doing our last final training classes for all of the workers who have applied to work with us. We are ready. We are just waiting for Tuesday to get here.”

During the early voting period, new residents who may not have been able to register in Lubbock County but are registered elsewhere in Texas can vote on a Limited Ballot. This allows the person to vote on races that would be on ballots in both counties. The voter must go the Elections Office, 1308 Crickets Avenue, to fill out a form and request the Limited Ballot. The voter will then be registered in Lubbock County.

Since 2016, Lubbock County has experienced an increase in voter turnout on even number years, according to Kennedy. She expects the trend to continue in 2020.

“We are expecting a high turnout here,” Kennedy said. “We’re excited. There’s a lot of work that goes on so we are always excited when everybody gets excited and turns out to vote for these elections.”

For sample ballots, click here.

For early voting locations and times, click here.

Election Day, March 3, voting locations can be found here.

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