(Seguin) -- Guadalupe County's top election official is breaking down the early voting process for March 1 Republican and Democratic primary elections. Elections Administrator Lisa Adam says early voting officially began on Tuesday, February 16. Adam says giving folks the chance to beat the lines on election day by voting early is just another tool to make voting easier.
"Early voting is just an opportunity for the voters to come in prior to election day and cast their vote. The process is exactly the same. They'll have to show their I.D. They'll have to choose the Republican or Democratic ballot, but it did become a little bit more convenient because we do have 11 days of early voting. This week, Tuesday through Friday we're open eight to five, all of our locations. Saturday will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday one to six and then next week is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. So, there's a longer time period for the voters to vote. They don't have to cram it all in one day and try and stand in line with everyone else who has waited for election day to vote. It's more convenient. I feel for the voters because they can go to anyone of those locations where as on election day, they have to go to their voting precinct itself. So that's the main difference. If I live in Schertz, but I happen to be in Seguin for early voting, I can vote in Seguin. On election day, I have to vote in the precinct that I'm registered on election day, so that's a big difference," said Adam.
Adam says much of the convenience, of early voting, is all of the available locations that are open throughout Guadalupe County.
"It's going to be the same site early voting locations that we traditionally use. We're going to have the Schertz Election Office. We're going to have the Seguin Election's Office. We will be using Grace Memorial Church in New Braunfels and Central Texas Technology Center in New Braunfels and then the City of New Berlin City Hall. So, they're all very acceptable to different portions of the county," said Adam.
Adam says the primary election determines what candidates will make it to the general election ballot in November. The primaries are truly partisan elections that are are run by both the Republican and Democratic parties. The Republican ballot will include presidential, state and local races. Democrats are also choosing their presidential nominee and a number of statewide nominations, but there are no local races on the Democratic ballot.
Adam says it will be the responsibility of the voter to know which party's ballot he or she would like to choose. She says sample ballots are available online to make the process easier.
"So essentially what happens is when the voter goes in, they are going to have to choose because this is a primary. They're going to have to choose a Democratic ballot or a Republican ballot. While there are candidates running on both ballots, there's going to be different candidates. So if you're going to vote in your local race, it may not be on the Democratic ballot. There are constables, your commissioners -- those things do not have Democratic candidates in this election. The voter really needs to be aware of which party ballot they're going to ask for when they go in so that they know who they expect to see on their ballot. We have several ballots available on our website so that they can do that, but it's important to vote. There's going to be different candidates on the different ballots because it's a party election," said Adam.
Adam says they are expecting a high voter turnout, and they are ready to serve all of the voters in Guadalupe County.
"We're looking forward to getting it underway. It's like putting together a party for 86,000 people. You want as many people to come as possible. So, we always want to encourage the voters to come out," said Adam.
Sample ballots can be found at www.co.guadalupe.tx.us/elections.