Hays County canvasses November's election results
On Monday morning, the Hays County Commissioners Court officially canvassed election results for the Constitutional Amendment Election held on Nov. 5.
This election was the first year that Hays County used vote centers instead of precinct voting, which allowed voters to cast their ballots at any vote center on Election Day, instead of being limited to their respective precinct. The county also used new hybrid voting equipment that utilizes paper ballots.
Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson said the County had 18,962 voters during the election, totaling a 13.57% turnout of registered voters. Anderson said this year’s turnout beat the 2015 Constitutional Amendment Election, which had a turnout of 11,198 or 10.65% of registered voters, according to canvass results from Hays County.
“We beat the state average by a point and a half, and we beat anything else that we've done by an even larger margin,” Pct. 4 Commissioner Walt Smith said of the Nov. 5 election. “And so I would just, I would say, that that tells us that voting centers, at least here, more people to choose to use them this time and that's a good thing.”
Pct. 3 Commissioner Lon Shell mentioned how during live election results, the online system showed 100% of precincts reporting, when not all votes had actually been totaled.
“And I just wanted to see if there was a way to make sure that that vendor or we find a new vendor that has a system that works with vote centers so that it's clear as the votes are being counted, that it's not all precincts 100% reported,” Shell said. “All precincts may have reported some votes but not all of the votes so if we could maybe just explain to them how we can solve that.”
Anderson said the reason the system showed 100% of precincts reporting was because the county canvasses by precinct.
“And because in the past before vote centers became as popular as they are now, we reported by precincts,” Anderson said. “So that's the way that those systems default, but we are working with the vendor to change that to reporting by polling location, as well as (Hart InterCivic) our vendor for our equipment. We're also working with them to create a custom report by polling location. So we're working from both angles to use that moving forward. So instead of seeing precincts reporting, you'll see polling locations reporting.”
The court voted 5-0 to approve the canvass election results.