Hays County's countywide voting program was deemed "successful" by the Secretary of State's office. Daily Record file photo
County's polling program deemed 'successful'
Hays County’s countywide polling program has been deemed “successful” by the Secretary of State’s Office, allowing the county to continue using the program.
The Hays County Elections Office requested “successful” status following the county’s use of the program on Nov. 5 for the first time. The program allows the county to use vote centers located in most commonly traveled areas by voters and allows voting at any center during Election Day.
“Countywide polling was a long time coming to our voters,” Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson said in a statement. “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 Anderson, 7,963 registered voters in Hays County voted early, which doesn’t include 679 mail-in ballots. During election day, 10,245 registered voters cast their ballots in person. The county saw a total of 18,909 registered voters — 13.35% — during November’s election.
Counties participating in the countywide polling place program must have at lease one countywide polling place in each commissioners court precinct, according to the Texas Election Code. The number of countywide polling places within a commissioners court precinct may not exceed more than twice the number of voting locations located in any other precinct.
The statute allows a county participating in the program to decrease polling locations of 65 percent in the first election and no less than 50 percent in subsequent elections. Hays County, however, didn’t decrease polling locations from the 2017 election and doesn’t plan to decrease any for the upcoming 2020 elections, according to the county.