Early voting in the upcoming March 7 primary elections begins Tuesday in the Multi-Purpose Room at the Anderson County Courthouse Annex.

Anderson County Tax Assessor/Collector Teri Garvey said early voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Friday, March 3.

This will be the first election cycle utilizing the federally-mandated HAVA (Help American Vote Act) machines, according to Garvey. Although primarily designed to enable disabled voters to cast a secret ballot, non-disabled voters also can use the machines if they desire, she added.

At the county level, there are three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for Anderson County judge, including incumbent Carey McKinney, Ava Harmon and Linda Bostick Ray.

The ultimate Democratic victor will face former Texas Department of Criminal Justice warden Susan Perryman Evans, who is unopposed on the Republican side, in the Nov. 7 general election.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Darrell Emanuel also has filed his intent to run as an independent candidate for county judge in the general election.

There are three contested precinct races on the Democratic ballot, including precinct 1 justice of the peace (Pat Douthit-Green and Gary Thomas); precinct 2 commissioner (L.W. Terry, Rodney A. Howard Sr. and Rashad Q. Mims I) and precinct 4 commissioner (Randy B. Watkins and Mike BeCraft Sr.).

BeCraft was killed last month in a bulldozer accident near Normangee, but his name remains on the ballot in accordance with state election laws.

If the deceased candidate were to get more votes, the Anderson County Democratic Party would then be allowed to “nominate” a candidate for the November general election, according to Scott Haywood, spokesperson for the Texas secretary of state’s office.

No Republicans filed to run for precinct 4 commissioner.

The local Republican Primary features three contested races, including the contest for Anderson County tax assessor/collector which pits Garvey, the appointed incumbent, against Donna C. Bentley, also a longtime employee in that office.

Phillip Crutcher and Larry Coker face each other in the Republican race for precinct 2 commissioner, while incumbent James W. Westley faces a pair of challengers — Mary Lane and Henry R. Kitchens — in his bid for a third term as precinct 4 justice of the peace.

Polls will open throughout the state from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, March 7.

Those waiting until Election Day to vote should do so at their usual polling place.

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