Early voting in the Special Jim Wells County Democratic Primary Election for Pct. 3 Commissioner began today and will continue through Friday.

The special election is between candidates Oswald “Wally” Alanis and J.C. Perez III. Perez was declared the victor in the March 4 Primary for the Pct. 3 County Commissioner seat, defeating Alanis by two votes. Alanis then filed suit in district court alleging that several voters were prevented from voting for him on March 4 because of errors.

District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos agreed and overthrew the election results following a one-day trial on April 4.

The Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio issued a ruling Aug. 14 affirming Gonzales Ramos’ order overthrowing the March 4 Primary results and ordering a new election.

Early voting is at the Election Administrator’s Office in the Jim Wells County Courthouse and the Orange Grove City Hall, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Alanis said he has been working his campaign hard.

“I respect the way we have run this campaign. Mr. Perez and I have been respectful and have run a clean campaign,” Alanis said. “I expect good voter turnout this week. I feel very confident that I’m going to be very successful in this election.”

Perez said that as far as working the election, he and his supporters are working even harder now than they did during the March primary.

“We’ve really gotten some good feedback, good support, and I’m confident things are going to go well,” Perez said. “We’re just working it as hard as we can.”

Applications for ballot by mail must be received by the Election Administrator’s Office no later than Thursday.

Election Administrator Pearlie Jo Valadez  sent 91 ballots by mail out to voters as of last week.

Valadez said each mail application must specify which election the ballot is intended for, since her office is working on both the special primary and the general election. 

“They have to mark the type and date of the election they want to vote for,” Valadez said. “I will not assume. If it’s not filled out, it will be rejected.”

Along with application designations, voters must also be aware that those who voted as Republicans during the March 4 Primary are not eligible to vote in the special primary election, since it is a special Democratic primary. Of the five election precincts within Pct. 3, 169 Republicans voted during the primary election, Valadez said. 

Her office will hold an official test of the voting machines Friday at the county courthouse. 

Those voters who are registered but are not on the election list, or have not updated their addresses with the office, can still vote during the special election by using a provisional ballot at their polling location.

Election Day for the special primary will be Sept. 30. Polling locations on that day will be Sandia Community Hall for Precinct 3 voters, Orange Grove Intermediate School for Precinct 8 voters, Alice High School for Precinct 9 voters, the Eggemeyer Residence for Precinct 19 voters and Salazar Elementary for Precinct 20 voters.