Looking for ways to make voting more convenient, Erath County officials are hoping to participate in a pilot program that would streamline the voting process by reducing the number of voting locations, election clerks, and cost of holding an election.
A public hearing aimed at getting citizen input will be held at 9 a.m., May 27 at the courthouse.
Under House Bill 3105, the program would allow the county to select a minimum of ten vote centers, which would serve as county wide election precincts. Any registered voter in the county could go to any vote center to cast their vote on Election Day.
“We believe vote centers would be a great convenience to the voter,” said County Clerk Gwinda Jones. “Instead of being limited to one polling place on Election Day all voters would be eligible to use any of the locations. This will make voting faster, easier and more convenient. If a voter happens to drive by a voting location on the way to work or while dropping their child off at school, they could vote at that location. If you live and work on different sides of the county you would be free to vote at a location close to your employment.”
Jones and other county officials say they believe the change would also prompt a higher voter turnout and enable the county to increase the number of voting machines available at each voting location. If the Vote Center Pilot Program is successful, legislative changes should follow that would allow vote centers to be used in all county-wide elections.
“We believe Votes Centers would be a positive change for elections and we want to be a part of that change,” Jones said.