Voters head to the polls Tuesday for Republican and Democratic primaries in many state and federal races, but city of Shawnee voters also will get a ballot for the Ward 6 Shawnee city commission race.

Voters head to the polls Tuesday for Republican and Democratic primaries in many state and federal races, but city of Shawnee voters also will get a ballot for the Ward 6 Shawnee city commission race.

Three candidates — Incumbent Steven C. Smith, along with Larry G. Smith and Michael Dykstra — are vying for that Ward 6 seat.

There also will be several state primaries, with more of those falling on the Republican ballots.

Republican primary races will include the office of District 27 State Representative, where the candidates are Incumbent John Cockroft and Lani Habrock.

For the State Senator District 28 Republican Primary, voters will choose between Jason Smalley, Danny Williams, Charles C. Mashek, Joe Dobry and Michael Ballard.

In the Republican primary for U.S. Representative, District 5, voters have a field of six candidates — Shane David Jett, Patrice Douglas, Mike Turner, Steve Russell, Harvey Sparks and Clark Jolley.

For the unexpired term of U.S. Senator, seven candidates are in that race — Andy Craig, T.W. Shannon, Randy Brogdon, Eric C. McCray, Kevin Crow, James Lankford and Jason Weger.

For the office of U.S. Senator, candidates on that Republican ballot are Evelyn L. Rogers, Rob Moye, D. Jean McBride-Samuels, Jim Inhofe and Erick Paul Wyatt.

Republicans also will vote in the state superintendent and corporation commission race, along with the primary for governor.

Democratic voters also have several primary races.

For State Senator District 28, Marilyn Rainwater and Billy Hinton are on the Democratic ballot.

For the unexpired term of U.S. Senator, there’s a field of three Democrats — Patrick Michael Hayes, Jim Rogers and Connie Johnson.

For U.S. Representative for District 5, Democrats will decide between Tom Guild, Al McAffrey and Leona Leonard.

Democrats also will vote in the state superintendent primary.

In Lincoln County, voters will decide many of the same state and federal races, but Republicans there also will decide a primary for the District 1 Lincoln County commissioner race. Incumbent Don E. Sporleder has a Republican opponent in Joe Brockamp.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Those who vote at Grove School at Bryan and MacArthur Streets will have some road construction and detour issues to contend with to get there, but once there, voters should enter the west gate entrance.

As voters prepare for Tuesday, Diana Knight, Pottawatomie County Election Board secretary, said that a valid ballot marking — a filled-in box in either blue or black ballpoint ink — is important. If voters make mistakes marking their ballots, Knight said they should not try to correct those errors. Instead, a voter should return the spoiled ballot to precinct officials, who will destroy it and issue a new ballot to the voter.

Knight also urges voters to take their voter identification cards with them to the polls.

“Your voter ID card (issued by the County Election Board) can help precinct officials find your name in the Precinct Registry, and it may help them resolve the problem if you are not listed in the Registry for some reason,” Knight said. Alternatively, voters can bring an unexpired photo ID card issued by the U.S. government, the state of Oklahoma, or a federally recognized tribal government.

Voters without ID, or whose names are not found in the Precinct Registry, or voters who disagree with the information shown in the Registry, may always cast a provisional ballot.

Knight said that voters who want to get through the line quickly should vote at mid-morning or mid-afternoon, because those usually are the two slowest periods.

“Anyone who is eligible and in line at the polling place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday will be entitled to vote,” she added.

Knight also advises voters, candidates, campaign officials, and volunteers to be very aware of — and careful to not violate — state election laws.

Knight said that all known election law violations will be reported to the proper law enforcement authorities, usually the County Sheriff and District Attorney.

“Our precinct officials are going to be watching very closely on election day for illegal electioneering by candidates, zealous campaign staff, and their volunteers. It’s unlawful in Pottawatomie County and across the State of Oklahoma to electioneer within 300 feet of a ballot box,” she said.

To electioneer means to work for or against election of a particular candidate, political party, or issue, including the illegal placement of any campaign signs inside the 300 feet boundary limit away from the ballot box.

Knight said election law violations sometimes committed accidentally by voters include disclosing how one voted while within the election enclosure or removing a ballot from the polling place.

Other violations by voters include taking a ballot into or out of the polling place or taking intoxicating liquors within one-half mile of a polling location. It is unlawful for any person to disclose how he or she voted to any other person while inside the election enclosure. Knight said it also is against the law for anyone to be within 50 feet of a ballot box during the election unless they are in line to vote or are considered to be one of the election or precinct official.

Anyone with questions can call the Pottawatomie County Election Board office at 273-8376.