By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Absentee balloting is now underway at the Franklin County Clerk’s office for the May primary election. Voters can cast ballots absentee until May 11, at 5 p.m.
Four county positions are up for election this month and there will be a contested race for Franklin County Sheriff.
Franklin County Commissioner Scott Workman is opposing District 32 incumbent Sen. John Tippets, of Bennington. Another Franklin County resident, Kelton Larsen, has filed against District 32 Rep. Tom Loertscher, Idaho Falls.
Chief Deputy Dave Fryar has filed to run as a Republican for sheriff. D.R. Clegg, Thatcher, has also filed as a Republican. Alan G. Riggs, Fairview, has filed as a Democrat.
Long-time Sheriff Don Beckstead did not file for re-election. His current term expires in January, 2013.
The other open positions are for Franklin County prosecutor and commission posts for District 1 and 3. District 1 is a two-year position, while District 3 is for four years.
Todd Garbett is currently serving as prosecutor and filed for re-election as a Republican. Tyler Olson, Weston, filed as an independent.
District 3 is being represented by Commissioner Dirk Bowles. He has filed for re-election as a Republican and is running unopposed.
Richard Westerberg represents District 1. He has filed for re-election as a Republican. He is being opposed by Boyd Burbank, who also filed as a Republican.
Two House of Representative positions and one Senate post are also up for election in the new District 32, which includes Franklin County. The District also comprises Oneida, Bear Lake, Caribou, and Teton counties and a portion of Bonneville County.
Incumbent Sen. Tippets, Bennington, and Representatives Marc Gibbs, Grace, and Tom Loertscher, Bonneville County, are all currently serving in the state Legislature. All are Republicans.
Tippets has filed for re-election. He is being opposed by Franklin County Commissioner Workman, Treasureton, who filed as a Republican.
Incumbent Gibbs has filed for re-election to the District 32 A seat. He has no opponent in the May primary. However, two Democrats are vying for a chance to face Gibbs in November. They are Rich Bergman, Montpelier and Bob Fitzgerald, Tetonia.
Loertscher is also running for re-election to the District 32B position. He is being opposed by Kelton Larsen, Preston, and Franklin Vilt, Montpelier. Both filed as Republicans.
New residents of the county can register at the polls on election day. They must bring with them an Idaho driver’s license with a current address. If a person has no driver’s license, they must provide a picture identification and some document to verify residence.
If residents have voted in a county election within the last four years, they are automatically registered.
In order to vote in the primary, a person has to be at least 18 years of age, a resident of the county for at least 30 days and a resident of the U.S.
Because of a new law, only registered Republicans can vote for Republican candidates in the primary. However, anyone can vote for a Democratic or Independent candidate,” said Larsen.
“Those with questions about registration, where they vote or special needs, can contact anyone at the clerk’s office.”
Idaho code prohibits any campaigning within 100 feet of a voting precinct and that includes the courthouse. There are six precincts in Preston and 11 throughout the county.
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 15 at traditional polling places, which include:
Preston No. 1, Oakwood School;
Preston No. 2, American Legion Building;
Preston No. 3, Robinson Building;
Preston No. 4, North Stake Center;
Preston No. 5, Larsen-Sant Library;
Banida-Winder, Winder LDS Church;
Clifton-Oxford, Clifton Community Center;
Dayton, West Side High School;
Fairview, Fairview LDS Church;
Franklin, Franklin City Building;
Mapleton, Mapleton LDS Church;
Mink Creek, Mink Creek LDS Church;
Thatcher-Cleveland, Thatcher School;
Treasureton-Riverdale, Riverdale LDS Church;
Weston, Weston LDS Church;
Whitney, Whitney LDS Church;
Worm Creek, Elks Lodge.
This story is sponsored by Meet the Candidates Night.
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