Gila County voters have some important decisions to make when they head to the polls next Tuesday for Arizona's first open primary election.
"An open primary allows voters who are registered as Independent, or who have indicated no party preference to select a Democrat or Republican ballot," Gila County Elections Director Dixie Mundy said. It doesn't allow, however, cross-over votes of registered Democrats or Republicans. In addition to those two parties, others represented in the primary election are the Libertarian, Reform, Green and Natural Law parties.
Folks hoping to file their ballots early have until 5 p.m. today (Friday) to stop by the Gila County assessor's office at 108 W. Main Street, behind the sheriff's department.
The only contested race on Rim country ballots is the heated battle between Globe Police Chief John Armer and Globe attorney Dennis McCarthy the two Democrats running for the office of sheriff. Joining them on the ballot for sheriff is Republican Art Stone.
Other candidates running unopposed in the primary include Ron Christensen (Rep.) for Gila County District 1 Supervisor; Edd Dawson (Dem.) for Superior Court Judge; Jerry DeRose (Dem.) and James Hazel Jr. (Rep.) for Gila County Attorney; Armida Bittner (Dem.) for Superintendent of Schools; Priscilla Knuckey-Ralls for Treasurer; Linda Haught-Ortega (Dem.) for Recorder; and Dale Hom (Dem.) for Assessor.
Write-in candidates for precinct committeemen are Estell Allen (Payson No. 3); Robert Houston and Roger Houston (Payson No. 4); Norma L. Fallers (Payson No. 5); Hoby Herron (Payson No. 6); Jo Johnson and Laurence H. Moore Jr. (Payson No. 8); and Jayne Peace, Hal Sherer and Tallulah Sherer (Gisela).
Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mundy said, and returns should start rolling in around 9 p.m.
"People who want to verify that they're registered to vote can call the Gila County Recorder's office," she said.
For the latest results from the primary elections, check out the Payson Roundup Web site at www.payson.com Wednesday morning.