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Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

County sets November polling locations

Performing Arts Center, rather than LBJ Student Center, to be TXST’s only location
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Hays County Commissioners Court voted to approve the list of early voting and election day polling places which included the Texas State University Performing Arts Center on the far Southeast end of campus. 

The locations were recommended by the county's party chairs and approved by the Hays County Citizens Election Advisory Committee, however, many Texas State Students showed up to voice their opinions when their usual and more convenient location — the LBJ Student Center — was not listed. 

The LBJ Student Center could not be used as a polling center because of COVID-19 usage plans converting the center into space for classes.

The list passed 4-1, with Judge Ruben Becerra as the only vote in opposition, who advocated for finding a second more convenient location. He suggested the Student Recreation Center because of its closer proximity to housing and because it had been offered to the county for election day usage, according to Becerra.

Jennifer Anderson, Hays County elections administrator, said the county does not have enough equipment or staff to set up another location.

The county still has time to find additional equipment and personnel for more polling locations according to the Election Code. 

San Marcos polling locations for Election Day include the Calvary Baptist Church, Centro Cultural Hispano, Dunbar Center, First Baptist Church San Marcos, Promiseland Church, San Marcos Activity Center, San Marcos Fire Station, San Marcos Housing Authority/CM Allen Homes, Sinai Pentecostal Church, South Hays Fire Station #12 and Stone Brook Seniors Community.

San Marcos polling locations for both early voting and Election Day include the Hays County Government Center, Hays County Transportation Yarrington Building, Live Oak Health Center and the Texas State University Performing Arts Center.

The commissioners also voted to reissue road crossing permits for the Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline after rescinding them three months ago, when horizontal directional drilling damaged karst features and caused drilling fluids to enter the groundwater and pollute wells in Blanco County. 

On April 28, the commissioners removed the permits until Kinder Morgan could  provide a plan for moving forward that will prevent further impact to ground and surface water.

Kinder Morgan has since responded with a scientific report reviewed by county staff and Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD) staff, who have said construction can now safely resume, according to Commissioner Lon Shell. 

The permits are contingent on requirements including Kinder Morgan providing the schedule of the road crossing work and notifying the county and HTGCD staff at least 10 days in advance; Kinder Morgan granting Hays County and HCGDC access to the construction sites during and after the boring; Kinder Morgan notifying HTGCD if they find a significant karst feature during construction; and Kinder Morgan providing HTGCD staff will access to all crossing activities including boring and camera imaging. 

In other news, the commissioners voted to approve text message and email reminder notifications for court appearances, diversion appearances, warrants and payment compliance, which should reduce failure to appear rates countywide. “The biggest piece of failure to appear rates is because people simply forget,” Becerra said.

“We are very fortunate that this works within our existing system,” said Shell. Tyler Technologies will build out the current software with this feature at an additional cost of $7,370.

The court also officially appointed Don Montague to Hays County Constable for Precinct #3, effective Aug. 10.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666