Early voting for the May 4 municipal and school board elections is underway.
According to elections administrators in Potter and Randall Counties, voter turnout for day one is low, but the importance of voting in local elections is a message they’re hoping will resonate with voters.
“This is when your voice needs to be heard because the decisions that are made locally affect you so directly,” said Melynn Huntly, Potter County elections administrator.
Except, this weekend voters will be able to vote early for the May 4 general and special election until April 30.
Elections administrators said your vote matters just as much as it would in any election.
“They get all excited about voting in a national election or a big state-wide election, and they think oh, this one does not matter as much. But this is actually where your vote makes the biggest difference. Your vote counts from a percentage wise much more than it does in any other,” said Huntley.
Voters will decide on the City of Amarillo’s mayor and council members, Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees, Amarillo College Board of Regents, and a nearly $90-million bond proposal for Amarillo College to build, acquire, and renovate school buildings.
“So, every election is extremely important, but I hate it that these local elections tend to get overlooked, because like I said, these actually govern your day-to-day life,” said Randall County Elections Administrator, Shannon Lackey.
Lackey said it is important to plan ahead for early voting because it is easy to make other plans for a Saturday.
“…and then you know, life happens and you get busy and the day is gone, so you might as well come out early and get it over with,” said Lackey.
Lackey told us it is important to remember there is cumulative voting for AISD and Amarillo College board members. Voters can distribute up to three votes among any candidates or even just one candidate.
Sample ballots are available online so there are no surprises when you head to the polls.
You still have plenty of time to get to the polls because both Potter and Randall Counties will extend their hours at polling locations for early voting.
Through this Friday, you can show up and vote from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and next Monday and Tuesday you can vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
When you head to the polls, make sure to bring a valid form of ID with you, and be sure to follow along with our election coverage on-air and online leading up to Election Day on May 4.