Despite the low turnout seen in the opening days the party primary elections process, Gaines County elections officials stated they haven't ran into any major issues related to the March 4 Democratic/GOP election, thus far.


"For the most part, (the election) has gone fairly well," said Patricia Roberson, Gaines County Elections Administrator. "We haven't run into anything major with the election, other than a few little things."


Those issues, according to Roberson, were primarily related to momentary internet loss for the electronic voting equipment and voter logs which communicate between Gaines County's two early voting poll sites and the Gaines County Elections Administration office at the Gaines County Courthouse.


"Those instances may have held up the voting process for a minute or two, but it was nothing major at all," said Roberson. "We have a great group of judges and staff in place who can get the problems fixed quickly, if they come up."


Through 11 a.m. on Monday morning, 303 Gaines County residents had cast their ballots early for the March 4 Democratic/Republican party primary process, according to local figures.


In the election's opening four days of early voting polls, 276 of Gaines County's 7,848 eligible voters -- or 3.51-percent -- had made their way to one of two Gaines County early voting polls, located at the the City of Seminole's Pow Wow Room in Seminole, or the Seagraves Community Building in Seagraves.


Early voting for the March 4 party primary process will be held through 5 p.m. this Friday afternoon. 


Election day polling will be held at four Gaines County locations on this next Tuesday, March 4. They include: the Gaines County Civic Building in Seminole, the Loop Community Building in Loop, the Seagraves Community Building in Seagraves, and the Higginbotham Community Building in Higginbotham. Election day polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on March 4, according to election organizers.


GOP Votes Dominate Early Totals

With Gaines County residents having their say in six local and area offices up for consideration in the March primary cycle, all of which are located on the GOP ticket, voting totals through the opening week of reflected the interest in the local election.


According to Roberson on Monday, just eight Democratic ticket votes had been cast in the March 4 process, which was initially reported by the Seminole Sentinel on Friday of last week. 


On the Republican ticket, the offices of Gaines County Judge, Gaines County Commissioner, Pct. 4, and Gaines County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 are up for consideration locally. The other three area offices, which include the representation of Gaines County, include: U.S. House of Representatives, Texas Dist. 19; Texas Senate Dist. 31, and Texas House Dist. 83.


In the Gaines County Judge's race, former County Judge Tom Keyes will square off with former Seminole Police Dept. Chief M.D. "Mickey" Browne in the March 4 primaries, while in the Pct. 4 Commissioner's seat race, incumbent seat holder and longtime Seminole/Gaines County resident Biz Houston will take on fellow longtime Seminole resident Ricky Baccus.


Gaines County's largest contested race will feature three challengers for the Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 seat, currently held by Seagraves resident B.W. Baucum.


The candidates for the race include Seagraves residents Calvin Sellers, Eddie Pillow and Henry Winsor.