The early voting turnout for the March 3 Primaries had improved, as of Friday, with 4 percent of the approximately 44,000 registered Harrison County voters participating.

“We’ve had a total of 2,222 check-ins, so far,” Elections Administrator Donald Robinette said after polls closed Friday.

Polls were also open on Saturday and will be open from noon to 4 p.m., today, Feb. 23, at the main elections office, located at 415 E. Burleson St.

“(It) seems most people are coming to the main elections office,” Robinette said of the in-person voting.

As of Friday, a total of 1,238 had voted at the main office; 343 at Gold Hall in Hallsville, 168 in Waskom, 158 at Woodland Hills Church Baptist Church on the Harrison County side of Longview, 101 at Emergency Services District #9 in Elysian Fields, 91 at Harleton Community Center, 76 at T.J. Taylor Community Center in Karnack and 47 at Wiley College Pemberton complex.

“Today there were 621 people who voted the Republican ballot and 130 who voted the Democratic ballot,” Robinette said on Friday.

For this cycle, Robinette reminds voters they must pick a ballot since this is the Primary, an election that occurs before the November general election, allowing voters to select candidates who will run on each respective party’s ticket.

“Since this is a Primary, a voter must choose which party ballot they want,” Robinette stressed.

“The Propositions on each ballot are different and reflect the items of concern to each party,” he explained.

And while the propositions are not amendments, they are a way of telling candidates of each party what its members would like for them to promote or not promote, Robinette noted.

“Basically, the propositions often simply make up the platforms of the parties,” he said.

During early voting — only — constituents can vote at any of the eight polling locations that are open, Robinette reminds.

“But on Election Day, you must vote in your home precinct, since we are still a precinct specific county, he said.

Precinct numbers can be found on constituents’ voter registration card.

“If a person will look on their voter’s registration card, they can find their precinct number just above their name and address, which is on the left half of the card in the middle,” Robinette indicated.

On Tuesday, March 3, which is Election Day, all 26 county precincts are slated to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sample ballots are available online at www.harrisoncountytexas.org/elections.

Early voting continues today and will end Friday, Feb. 28.

According to the schedule, early voting will take place, Feb. 24-28, at the following branch locations: Waskom Sub-courthouse, Harleton Community Center, Gold Hall Community Center, Woodland Hills Baptist Church, ESD #9 in Elysian Fields, Wiley College Pemberton Complex, T.J. Taylor Community Center, and the Main Elections Office.

Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. The main elections office, located at 415 E. Burleson St., will also be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.

COUNTY RACES

For the Republican Party Primary, there are two contested races for county seats. Pct. 1 Harrison County Commissioner William Hatfield is being challenged by local business owner, Robert Bryan, who is also a former Department Public Safety trooper.

Pct. 3 County Commissioner Phillip Mauldin will face local educator, Rodney Blackwell.

Incumbents who are uncontested are: Tax Assessor Collector Veronica King, Pct. 1 Constable John Hickey Sr., Pct. 4 Constable Darryl Griffin, Pct. 4 JP Nancy George, 71st Judicial District Judge Brad Morin, and Pct. 3 Constable Jim Weatherall.

Republican B.J. Fletcher and Democrat George Gill will face off for the sheriff’s seat in the November General Election.

Gill is a longtime Marshall Police Department officer. Fletcher is the chief deputy at Harrison County Sheriff’s Office.

Pct. 2 Commissioner Brant Moore is uncontested on the Democratic ballot.

STATE

In the state races, State Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, will run for re-election against Mark Williams, a Panola County rancher, for the State Representative District 9 seat in the Republican primary. No one filed for that position in the Democratic primary.

Audrey Spanko, from Mineola, filed to run in the Democratic primary for State Senate District 1, which is currently held by Sen. Bryan Hughes. Hughes filed to run again for his seat in the Republican primary. Spanko and Hughes will face off in the general election in November 2020.

FEDERAL

The race for the U.S. Senate Texas seat has contenders in both the Democratic and Republican Party Primaries, who are vying for the nomination.

The seat is currently held by Republican John Cornyn, who is running for reelection. In the Republican Party Primary, the incumbent will face Virgil Bierschwale, a software developer, of Junction; John Anthony Castro, a tax attorney from Dallas; business owner Dwayne Stovall; and Mark Yancey, Chairman and CEO of Attacca International in Dallas.

Candidates in the Democratic Party Primary are: Sema Hernandez, an activist in Pasadena; Chris Bell, a former Congressman and lawyer out of Houston; Royce West, a State Senator and attorney out of Dallas; attorney and former Houston council member Amanda Edwards; former Air Force helicopter pilot MJ Hegar of Round Rock; activist Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez of Austin; Chris Bell, a Houston lawyer; Michael Cooper, a pastor and psychologist from Beaumont; Jack Daniel Foster Jr., a teacher from Baytown; Annie Garcia, a Houston attorney; Victor Hugo Harris, a military cyber operations professional from Harligen; Mary Hegar, of Round Rock; D.R. Hunter, a retiree from Amarillo; Adrian Ocegueda, of Flower Mound; and Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez, a Dallas attorney.