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Party primaries near; voters to make choices Tuesday

Campaigning comes down to the wire with less than a week remaining for voters to make upo their minds about which party primary they’ll be voting in, and after that choice, which candidates they will vote for.
The Aug. 8 party primary elections require voters to decide in advance which primary they will participate in on election day.
In addition, absentee voting is underway from 8-5 weekdays at the circuit clerk’s office and the offfice is also open this Saturday from 8-noon for in-office absentee voting.
The upcoming Aug. 8 primaries probably represent the first time local candidates have separated into the two party system. In the past, with only a few exceptions, most local candidates have run as Democrats, while state candidates have run as Republicans.
This year, that’s not the case as a number of Republican candidates have announced for local office, along with a group of locals running under the Democratic ticket. Since some of the same-party candidates have opposition, the purpose of the primary is to narrow the candidates down to one Democratic nominee and one Republican nominee for an office. The two will then face each other in November, along with any independents running for that office.
For example, on the local level, some supervisor races have candidates running under separate party labels.
So, when the smoke clears after the count on Aug. 8–or, if runoffs are required, three weeks later on Aug. 29–there will be a Democrat and Republican chosen to face each other in the November general election.
Then, to add to the mix of the two party primary winners, several local candidates have qualified as independent candidates. They will not appear on the ballot until the general election ballot, which opens the possibility of a three way or even four-way run for an office. However, there is no run-off in the general election, so the candidate with the highest number of votes is the winner on Nov. 7.
In the event of a tie vote in the general election, the winner is decided by a toss of the coin.
To streamline voting and save time, election officials say voters should have in mind which party primary they plan to participate in when they arrive at the polls on Aug. 8. Poll workers are required to ask the voter in which party primary they plan to vote in order for the voter to sign the poll book and be issued the proper card to insert in the voting machine so the correct ballot shows on the screen.
If a primary runoff is necessary, when the voter returns in three weeks, he or she must vote the same party line as they did in the first primary. A voter cannot “jump” parties when voting in the primary. Once a voter makes a choice as to what party stream they will vote in, they cannot switch parties between the primary and runoff.

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