I looked at the ballot for the fifteenth precinct (?) of Lubbock and noticed a couple of salient factors, being a rank outsider and unaccustomed to Texas politics.
First, if it's a two-party system, the Libertarians are the second party, so that explains why moderate is a dirty word: it's about as far left as you can go. The Republican primaries I would guess settle most of these races, and that's why I don't hear much controversy over anything except maybe Obama and Romney. Obama is by far the only Democrat who has a chance to win anything on this ballot; there is one Democrat running for Senate from Texas but I'm not sure anyone takes him seriously. The Congressman has some Libertarian running against him but is otherwise unopposed.
So the education races, the judgeships and the ferrocarril still matter and I want to investigate them further, but I'm wondering, what happened to the Democrats? Did they just up and roll over? It gives Texas a kind of advantage, to have all these congressmen unopposed, they'll get what is known as seniority and bring such things as jobs and roads back to Texas. Guess I should be a Republican. Republican = the only thing.
Then my guess is, it's not really such a big deal counting the votes; there are probably a few close races here and there in the state but clearly none around here, and, one would guess that you'd only need pollwatchers when it was contested. Which could possibly be in the primaries, but probably not. It's an interesting cultural situation.
In Illinois they had trouble finding precinct captains and I almost voted for myself once. There was nobody on the ballot. But I did that in college once, in a university of about 40 000, and I won. I had to back out sheepishly and I felt really bad for the freshman council of the student government which then had to accept a no from a winner.
I'm wondering, how they elected LBJ. That was just 50 years ago, but I guess that's ancient history. The Democrats did what, fled? Packed up their tents? Reminds me of the mound people. They're almost completely gone. But I'll bet those Libertarians rake them in.
Watch out for those moderates...