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Front Page March 13, 2018  RSS feed

Good turnout for Leon County in March Primary Election

By Sherry Matney

Tuesday, March 6th marked the date of the Texas 2018 Primary Election. Several years ago Primaries were held separately, possibly in the same building, often in separate rooms. But with today’s technology Democrats and Republicans use the same voting machines that offer different ballots. This can often cause consternation when a voter is asked “which party?” and declares, “That is none of your business who I vote for!” But after explanation the voter inevitably sees the necessity for the question. Voters were also calmed when they realized they could vote for either party in the General Election in November.

This year’s primary in Leon County was particularly interesting on the Republican side, because there were several contested positions that were determined by the Primary. Consequently voter turnout was very good for Republicans while Democrats saw only a few voters express their wishes. Leon County has 10,950 registered voters and 3,615 turned out, either by mail, early voting or Election Day. Of that total, 3,390 were Republican and 225 were Democrat votes. Total voter turnout percentage was 33.01.

Some unofficial results for local races were: District Judge for 369th Judicial District, Michael Davis 1,722 (57.75%) Frank Dobrovolny 1,260 (42.25%); Leon County Judge, Byron Ryder 2,117 (65.34%) Gary Danford 1,123 (34.66%); District Clerk, Beverly Wilson 1,495 (46.44%) Cassandra Noey 1,724 (53.56%); County Commissioner Precinct 2, David Ferguson 534 (68.46%) Sandy Lumley 246 (31.54%); Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, Lori Reid 915 (63.54%)Mark Taylor 525 (36.46%); Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, Robert Kelly 388 (42.13%) Lee Weiler 383 (41.59%) Glynda Williams 150 (16.29%).

Uncontested races were: County Clerk, Christie Wakefield; County Treasurer, Brandi S. Hill; County Commissioner Precinct 4, David Grimes; Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, Jack Keeling; Constable Precinct 4 David Welch; Republican County Chairman Ken Kunz.

Democrats had no contested local races and Clara D. Jones was elected County Chairman.

There were eleven propositions for the Republican Party and twelve for the Democrat Party. All passed with little opposition.

Republican results for the overall state elections were very similar to those of the county. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz won Leon County with 89.93%; Texas State Governor Greg Abbott won Leon County by 94.88%; and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick won Leon County by 74.39%. On the Democrat side Beto O’Rourke came in first for U.S. Senator with 48%; Texas State Governor candidate Andrew White garnered top spot with 23%; and Mike Collier got first with 51.83%.

There were approximately 1 million Democrats who voted in the Statewide Primary and 1.5 Republicans.

Leon County may be one of the few counties that posts their election results manually so interested parties can watch as the precincts bring in their voting tapes. In front of the Annex II building in Centerville the county sets up a large white erase board and results from each precinct is posted as they are delivered to the Election Administrator and verified. On this particular night Deputy County Clerk Amy Kaiser brought the numbers to Commissioners Joey Sullivan and Dean Stanford who then wrote them on the board for all to see.

The board was set up so each of the 17 precincts was written across the top, then each candidate was listed down the left side. On the right side the votes were eventually tallied. Dozens of interest people, candidates, and families gathered in the parking lot of Annex II to get results first hand.

The board adds an element of excitement to election night results in Leon County. It is the responsibility of the Election Judge from each precinct to get the information to the election office as quickly as possible. Commissioner Joey Sullivan told this story that happened many years ago. “One time when everything was done by hand, we waited and waited to get the results from one of the precincts. Finally someone went out to check on the Election Judge. Turns out it had been so late when he got finished he went home to bed planning to bring the ballots in the next day.” According to Sullivan someone went to the sleepy judge’s house and got him up so the ballots could be counted and added to the tally. That board needed to be completed.

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