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2.21.20-WEB-Early Voting by James.jpg

James L. White/Staff

Boone County poll worker Brain Doyle signs in Valley Springs School Superintendent Judy Green during early voting Thursday.

Early voting for the preferential primary in Boone County has been somewhat light during the first three days, but election day is still almost two weeks away.

During the primary election, political parties choose the candidate they want to represent them in the November general election.

Arkansas is an open primary state. That means you can vote in either party primary you want no matter your party declaration on your registration. You also do not have to declare a party affiliation on your registration.

There are several ballot styles depending on where you live, so you can visit voter view.org and enter your name and date of birth to view ballots available for you.

But it’s also the time for school elections this year. At Alpena, current school board president Kenny Underdown is challenged by Lynette Cantwell, while Amy Deaton, Michael Watkins and Terry Wade all filed for the school board seat currently held by Chris Graddy at Valley Springs.

As of about 3 p.m. Thursday almost 200 people had voted early. Twenty of them are in the Alpena School district and 13 in Valley Springs.

No matter what school district you live in, there will be a question asking voters to approve the property tax millage rate. No schools in Boone County are asking for millage increases. As such, even if the tax question fails the rate reverts to the previous year’s rate and there will be no change.

The primary election is also the non-partisan judicial election.

Judge Morgan “Chip” Welch and Barbara Womack Webb are seeking Position 4 on the Arkansas Supreme Court. That seat is currently held by Justice Jo Hart, who is retiring. It will be voted on statewide.

Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Mike Murphy is running unopposed for re-election in District 2 Position 2, which covers most of the local area.

All positions for 14th Judicial Circuit judge are up in 2020, but Judge Andrew Bailey, Judge Deanna "Suzie" Layton and Judge John Putman are unopposed. Johnnie Abbott Copeland of Mountain Home filed for the position currently held by Judge Gordon Webb, who isn’t running again, and is also unopposed.

Harrison lawyer Gail Inman-Campbell is running unopposed for Boone County District Court in the position currently held by Judge Fred Kirkpatrick.

You can choose not to vote in either party primary and only vote in the non-partisan judicial election. The judicial candidates will all appear on both the Democratic and Republican ballots as well.

Early voting in Boone County takes place at the Boone County Election Center at the corner of Central Avenue and Cherry Streets in Harrison. Early voting hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Feb. 24-28; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, March 1. Polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3.

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