The Texas Secretary of State’s Office has deemed Hays County’s Countywide Polling Program “successful,” giving the county permission to continue using the program.
The Hays County Elections Office had requested “successful” status based on the results of its first election (Nov. 5, 2019) using the program. Following strict guidelines, the program allows the county to use Vote Centers located in areas most commonly traveled by voters and allows voting at any of those centers on Election Day.
“Countywide polling was a long time coming to our voters,” Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson said. “With the support of the commissioners court, we’ve made voting easier and more accessible to voters throughout the county, and the result was increased voter activity in the November 2019 Constitutional Amendment election. My thanks to all the involved citizens who attended our public meetings and public hearings, tried out our new equipment beforehand, and of course, all those who exercised their right to vote.”
According to the Texas Election Code, counties participating in the countywide polling place program must have at least one countywide polling place in each commissioners court precinct. Additionally, the number of countywide polling places within a commissioners court precinct may not exceed more than twice the number of countywide polling places located in any other commissioners court precinct.
Although the statute allows for a decrease in polling locations of 65 percent in the first election and no less than 50 percent in subsequent elections, Hays County did not decrease polling locations from the 2017 election and does not plan to decrease any for the upcoming 2020 elections.