By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer
The June 1 primaries are still roughly six weeks away, but early voting and party declaration deadlines are fast approaching.
Early voting starts May 4 at the Curry County Clerk’s office. Primary races range from the U.S. House of Representatives to local law enforcement.
County election chair Coni Jo Lyman said the clerk’s office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays for early and absentee voting.
“They can either come in… in person and vote on a voting machine,” Lyman said, “or they can call the office and get the (absentee) process started that way.”
The North Plains Mall will be available for voting starting May 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Early voting ends May 29.
Voters must declare party affiliation 28 days prior to the primary to cast a ballot.
Lyman said there isn’t a lot of party-switching going on, but there are important races where there is no candidate from one party — thus, the primary is the de facto general election.
“What we do (know) is how important this June 1 primary is, even in Curry County,” Lyman said. “Anna Crook has (only primary) opposition… she will either still be our representative or she won’t come the night of June 1.”
Lyman also noted judges now have to run in districts, as opposed to previously having the whole city as a voting bloc.
There are about 19,000 registered voters in Curry County.
Lyman said she would be overjoyed to see a 30 percent turnout, and is realistically expecting a 10 to 15 percent turnout.