Local News
What is a Primary?
By Tammy Biggar, Fannin County Clerk
Feb 5, 2018
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Fannin County, Texas -- This November, Texans will choose their governor as well as many other local, state and federal candidates.  Primary elections are held for political party members to determine who their party wants on the ballot in the November General Election.  There will also be independent candidates, those not affiliated with a party and write-in candidates.

In Fannin County there are two political parties holding elections this March, the Republicans and the Democrats.  There are a few members of the Green Party Libertarians that reside here as well. 

Unlike some states, in Texas a voter does not register as a member of a party.  This is known as an “open” primary.  A voter may choose one primary election they wish to vote in but there are some constraints that go with voting in a primary.  If a voter has signed a candidate’s ‘petition in lieu of filing fee’ that voter has now affiliated themselves with the party of that candidate for purposes of voting in the primary including any run offs or attending a convention/caucus. Keep in mind when a voter votes in a primary the history of having voted is reported to the Secretary of State (SOS) and is also public record.  How the voter voted is private but the fact that the person voted is not.  Petitions in lieu of filing fee in this case are submitted directly to the party.

There are two other paths to getting on the November ballot, write-in candidacy or filing as an Independent.  The write-in candidate may pay a fee or submit a petition to the County Judge.  The Independent candidate must obtain signatures from voters who themselves are Independent (have not voted in a primary or run off) and then submit the petition to the County Judge. 

In accordance with Texas law November voters will see on the ballot which candidate has affiliated with a party, or no party (Independent) but they will not know if the candidate is a current office holder (Incumbent) or a challenger. 

It is always recommended voters review the ballot before heading to the polls.  This March Republicans will be voting on 11 issues in addition to candidates and Democrats will have 12 issues.  Ballots can be found at www.co.fannin.tx.us, please go to the Voting section and look at the bottom of the page.

All early voting will be held at the Armory/Civic Center-1100 W. 5th St, Bonham, Texas 75418, on the grounds where Trades Days is held.   There will be curbside voting available for those that who need assistance and a ballot by mail may be requested for voters 65 or older and those that will be out of county.  Please call County Clerk for further information: 903-583-7488.