Early voting reflects interest

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Election officials say number of ballots cast strong for primary runoff

Totals show 13,237 ballots were cast during the five-day span beginning last Monday for early voting in the primary election runoff.

A total of 12,741 ballots were cast at 12 Republican polling sites, according to records from the Denton County Elections Administration. At 11 Democratic primary election runoff polling sites, 496 ballots were cast.

After Tuesday’s election, Denton County will have a winner in the race for the Republican Constable Precinct 5 seat. County residents will cast their ballots in that race as well as a number of state races in the primary election runoff.

Election officials noticed an increased turnout for early voting and hope it carries into election day.

“Considering primary runoffs usually have a fairly low turnout, we have been pretty happy. There is definitely some interest out there,” elections administrator Frank Phillips said. “I would assume it is some of the state races that is driving the majority of the turnout.”

He said there were more early voters this year than in the last primary runoff election in 2010.

Phillips said polling sites and workers are prepared for Tuesday.

“Everything has been very smooth in the runoff,” he said.

Dale Chegwidden, an investigator in the district attorney’s office, faces Doug Boydston, a Denton police officer, in Tuesday’s GOP runoff for constable.

In the May 29 election, Chegwidden received 44 percent of the votes, only slightly more than Boydston’s 42.4 percent. Precinct 5 Deputy Constable George Riojas received 13.6 percent of the votes.

Precinct 5 covers the largest area among the county’s six precincts, spanning the northern part of the county from the Wise County line to the Collin County line. It includes parts of Denton.

The candidates seek to replace former Constable Ken Jannereth, who was denied his peace officer’s license in April following a February 2010 criminal mischief conviction.

“I understand there is a higher level than expected for the runoff, which is great news. I think everyone should get out and vote and do their civic duty,” Chegwidden said. “I want to thank everyone supporting me in this primary and runoff. It’s been a really wonderful experience to be in the process and run for office. We put a lot of work into it, and we’re hoping for the best.”

Chegwidden said he was a little excited and nervous wanting to know the outcome.

“It’s interesting to watch and a little nerve-wracking, too. We’ll see what happens on Tuesday.”

Boydston said he felt that he and his opponent have run good, clean campaigns up to this point, and he said he was going to keep working through Tuesday.

“I look at [the race] as applying for the position. And I wouldn’t put my name in the hat if I didn’t think I was the best qualified for the position,” Boydston said. “Now it’s up to the voters. I have done all I can do. I don’t have any regrets.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is blewis@dentonrc.com.


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