Early voting begins

Russell Anglin

No contested county offices appear on the ballot for November’s elections in Quay County, but an open seat in the governor’s office and the chance to extend term limits for county officials give local voters incentive to show up to the polls.

Early voting began Tuesday and the county courthouse will be open for voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The general election is Nov. 2. The courthouse will also open Saturday, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the last day of early and absentee voting.

County clerk Ellen White said voter turnout in Quay County has increased over the last few elections, and she estimated between one third and one half of county voters vote early.

“On election day, everybody’s voice does count. It’s your government, your choices, and you need to be proactive and vote,” White said.

White said she considered the proposed state constitutional amendment 2 to be one of the more important items on the ballot. The amendment would extend term limits of elected county officials to three four-year terms instead of two.

District 3 Quay County commissioner Franklin D. McCasland is one such official at the end of his second term who is not eligible to run for re-election. He said he is in favor of the proposed amendment.

“In my opinion, it takes several years to really get a good handle on how the budget, the policies, the entire procedure works. Once you get somebody up and going and understanding the process very well, it’s time for them to leave,” McCasland said.

The amendment would allow incumbent officials a chance for more time in their offices and may make it more difficult for would-be challengers to take their places.

On Monday, Quay County had 5,698 registered voters. Only one federal contest is on the November ballot, but a number of state offices are being contested along with proposed constitutional amendments and bond issues.