More Smith County voters turned out for the Republican primary this year compared with the previous three presidential election years.
Smith County party officials speculated that some Democrats opted to vote in the Republican primary in order to weigh in on the sheriff race.
On the Democratic side, voter turnout was slightly below previous years with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Complete but unofficial results, showed 27,968 ballots had been cast in the Smith County Republican primary. On the Democratic side, some 2,316 ballots were cast.
In 2008 primaries, 22,756 Republicans voted, and 18,932 Democrats cast ballots. However, that year had record voter turnouts because of the presidential primaries.
Smith County Democrats, on the other hand, had 3,017 voters in the 2000 primary. That number dropped to 2,995 voters in 2004, according to the archives.
Smith County Republican Party Chairman Ashton Oravetz said about 12,000 people turned out for early voting this year compared with more than 15,000 in 2008.
Oravetz said based on anecdotal evidence from polling locations it appeared that some Democrats voted in the Republic primary in order to cast a ballot in the Smith County Sheriff's race.
Smith County Democratic Party Chairman David Henderson said his party saw a low voter turnout based on anecdotal evidence. He was speaking before final results were in.
He also suspected some Democrats voted in the Republican primary to cast a ballot in the Sheriff's race.
In the presidential race, complete and unofficial results showed Smith County Republicans overwhelmingly favored Mitt Romney. He received 19,319 votes, or 72 percent.
On the Democratic side, President Barack Obama received 2,076 votes, or 94.02 percent.
In the U.S. Senate race, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz looked to be headed to a July 31 runoff.
In Smith County, Dewhurst garnered 11,072 votes, 43.21 percent, with Cruz receiving 8,947 votes, 34.92 percent.
On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Paul Sadler and San Antonio ISD retiree Grady Yarbrough looked to be headed for a runoff with 42 percent of precincts statewide reporting.
In Smith County, complete and unofficial results showed Sadler received 811 votes, 41.96 percent, and Yarbrough garnered 702 votes, 36.32 percent.
In the District 1 U.S. Representative District 1 race, incumbent Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, and retired U.S. Army Maj. Shirley McKellar, of Tyler, a Democrat, each ran unopposed in their respective primaries and will face off in November.
In the Republican Party referendums, Smith County voters overwhelmingly supported repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obama's health care overhaul; prohibiting the government from restricting the public prayer content; and balancing the budget/controlling government growth.
More than 90 percent of Smith County Republican voters supported each of these referendums, according to incomplete and unofficial results.
In addition, 22,258 Republican primary voters, 84.54 percent, supported school choice or allowing state dollars to “follow the child instead of the bureaucracy.”
Some 18,934 voters, 77.34 percent, supported having the Texas Legislature redraw the court-imposed Congressional and state legislative district lines in the upcoming session.
These referendums are non-binding but will allow party officials to determine the issues that are of most importance to voters as they determine the party platform.
On the Democratic ballot, voters had three propositions related to immigration, higher education funding and gambling.
Incomplete and unofficial results showed 85.50 percent, or 1,834 Smith County Democratic voters supported Proposition 1. This would call on the state to give in-state tuition at state-supported colleges and universities to any Texas high school graduate who has lived in the state for at least three years and continuously for the past year. The students also would have the opportunity to earn legal status through higher education or military service.
Some 93 percent, or 2,034 local Democratic voters, supported Proposition 2 which would call on the Texas Legislature to “fund colleges and universities such that tuition and fees can be affordable to all Texans.”
Some 67.34 percent, or 1,464 Democratic voters, percent supported Proposition 3 which would ask the Texas Legislature to allow Texans to vote to legalize casino gambling with all generated funds used for education.