When Texas voters go to the polls on Tuesday — or sometime before Friday when early voting concludes — they will have numerous decisions to make. Choices are available in numerous races from county offices to the president of the United States.

The first decision required, however, is in which party’s primary to participate. A voter can’t cast a ballot in both the Democratic and Republican primary elections.

That means, for example, that Brown County voters can’t express an opinion on whether they want Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president and also cast a vote in the district judge’s race between Steve Ellis and Perry Sims. The former is a race between Democrats; the latter, a contest between Republicans.

Former President Bill Clinton may have created a bit of confusion last weekend when, while campaigning for his wife in Texas, he joked that Texans can “vote twice” by returning to the polls after they close on election day next Tuesday and participating in precinct conventions. It was a simplified description of the uniquely Texan process in which the primary balloting assigns a majority of the delegates, but the convention determines a significant number more. But however it may be characterized, each voter is allowed only one ballot.

And during primary season, that means everyone won’t be able to vote in every race. It’s just another decision that must be made.

Brownwood Bulletin