Grayson County Commissioners recently signed off on plans for the 2018 primary and runoff elections in the county.

The commissioners approved a joint resolution with the Democratic Party of Grayson County and the Republican Party of Grayson County to hold the primary election on March 6 and the runoff, if needed, on May 22.

“I’ve met with both party chairs and they do desire to hold a joint primary election in Grayson County for March 2018 and a runoff in May, if required,” County Election Administrator Deana Patterson said.

The resolution was approved unanimously, as was a related item on early voting, after Commissioner Jeff Whitmire asked about minor parties participating in the primary.

“They elect through convention instead of primary election,” Patterson said, noting the Libertarian and Green parties have ballot access in Texas. “Independent candidates have ballot access in November. They have to file an intent to run during the same filing period as primary candidates, but they wouldn’t file their final application until August.”

As the seats occupied by commissioners David Whitlock and Bart Lawrence are up for election next year along with County Judge Bill Magers, all of whom are seeking re-election next year, Magers said the joint resolution was of great interest to several members of the Commissioners Court.

“Thank you, in all seriousness, for that civics lesson because I can promise you a lot of folks don’t know that,” Magers said.

The early voting locations and times were only approved for the primary election in March.

“We are proposing the five early voting locations that we typically use in Grayson County,” Patterson said of the county election administration office, sub-courthouse in Denison, Pottsboro ISD admin building, Whitesboro City Hall and Grayson College campus in Van Alstyne. “Early voting doesn’t start until a Tuesday, that’s mandated by the state because of the federal Presidents Day holiday. So it’ll start on Tuesday, Feb. 20 and will run through Friday, March 2.”

The hours for early voting at those locations will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The final day to register to vote for the March 6 election will be Feb. 5 and the final day to submit an application to vote by mail will be Feb. 23.

In other business, commissioners also approved an interlocal agreement to participate in the Department of Public Safety General Store. Grayson County Purchasing Agent Jeff Schneider explained the store would be used to purchase items such as breathalyzer equipment, items to draw blood, kits for checking for firearm discharge residue and more.

“The real benefit to it, besides it being very cost effective would be that you make sure the products we are using for our law enforcement would stand the test of a defense lawyer saying that this product was authorized and certified for this particular use in the chain of custody,” Schneider said.