Hays County Election Administrator Joyce Cowan is a giant among the scores of pygmies engaged in the every decade task of altering election districts within fast growing Texas counties. She has done her usual spectacular job of creating a workable election plan out of a mishmash of confusion perpetuated by the governor’s office and his legislative minions.
For that, every voter in the county should be most grateful and Cowan’s superiors almost giddy with relief. It’s done, and we have a product that ain’t exactly pretty. But it appears to be as functional as can be under the circumstances.
Voter registration cards with information identifying all sorts of electoral districts have been mailed to more than 84,000 county residents and they are understandable and will be most helpful to newcomers and old-timers alike.
They identify for every voter which of three crazy-quilt congressional districts they live within, which one of the state senate districts they live in and the fact that all of us live within Texas House District 45. (That was a moment of simplicity by the redistricting committee – all of Hays County actually sitting in a single Texas House District!)
The cards then go several steps further and tell the voter which of the four commissioner’s precinct they domicile in, as well as which of the five justice of the peace precincts the residents live.
For good measure, folks who live in San Marcos or Kyle are told which single member district they reside in regarding local government, and also identify the election district they live in regarding Hays and San Marcos school districts.
With that kind of information, the controversy at the state level concerning photo IDs and other mumbo-jumbo should fade into oblivion. Cowan, with the approval of the county commissioners court, has turned our registration system into an information packet and valuable tool to facilitate accountable and decipherable elections.
It’s nice to know all that – and it should help election workers and voters alike when it comes to Election Day.