No Primary for Voters in 21 Rural Texas Counties

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Democrats in three Panhandle counties and Republicans in 18 counties of South and West Texas need not bother going to the polls next Tuesday. There won't be any primaries for them.

"The highest Democratic official has to administer the primary," explained Hector Nieto, of the state Democratic Party. And since in Armstrong (courthouse shown above) and two other north Texas counties there are currently no party officials, there won't be any ballots there for Democrats on March 4. Alicia Caldwell, for AP, reports, "in nearby Hansford County, where a little more than 3,000 folks are registered, there hasn't been a Democratic primary in about 16 years, according to the county clerk's office."

Republicans in 18 sparsely populated counties, most of them along the Mexican border, are facing the same problem. Paul Stekler, documentary filmmaker and professor of public affairs at University of Texas, said that the impact of these missing primaries will be "miniscule." Stekler predicts, "This will be an election on the Democratic side that is dependent on the unbelievable turnout in urban counties."