Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX, March 1, 2019 – The Hays County Commissioners Court Tuesday approved a resolution in support of participating in the Countywide Polling Place program, which would allow voters to cast their ballot at any polling place in the county on Election Day.
“I look forward to the improvements our county is undertaking to increase voter participation and election integrity,” County Judge Ruben Becerra said.
Early voters currently have the option to vote at any polling location. Allowing Election Day voters to do the same would avoid issues caused when voters show up at the wrong precinct.
Hays County Elections Administrator and Voter Registrar Jennifer Anderson told the Court that all the jurisdictions in Hays County were in favor of the program and would offer resolutions of their own once the Court approved the County’s. For Hays County to be approved for the program, all jurisdictions that hold elections must be in favor.
Hays County Democratic Chair Donna Haschke told the Court that the proposal is “a true example of bipartisan cooperation that supports the interest of all voters and strengthens democracy by increasing citizen participation in the electoral process” and thanked the Elections Office staff and election workers for recent election successes.
Anderson explained that to be approved by the state, an application that includes a plan and methodology for implementing the program must be submitted, and she hopes to have state approval in time to pilot the program for this November’s election. Her office will hold two public meetings on the proposal, expected to be set for late March, and will also form a committee made up of political party representatives and political subdivision planners to determine polling locations. Anderson also notes that while different types of elections call for different numbers of polling locations, she does not expect a major change in the number of polling locations for each of those elections.