Dallas And Tarrant Counties Plan Vote Centers In November

Steven Pickering
July 03, 2019 - 6:50 am
Early voting in Texas

Credit: Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Both Dallas and Tarrant County Commissioners are moving ahead with plans for county-wide vote centers in their respective counties this fall.

The goal is to boost turnout by making it more convenient for voters to cast their ballots.

"They allow voters to vote anywhere in the county that's convenient on election day, instead of being compelled to vote at a precinct polling place," said Elizabeth Walley of the League of Women Voters - Dallas, "which offers great efficiency for the voters and will prevent a lot of mistakes by voters who don't realize until too late that they've come to the wrong place to vote." 

She testified in support of the vote centers during Tuesday's Commissioners Court meeting in Dallas County.

Dallas County Commissioners were unanimous in their support of the plan, although they did express some concerns about inadvertently reducing the number of polling places.

"No one wants to lose their voting location," said Commissioner J.J. Koch. "That fear is real, particularly for seniors and those that have a hard time getting around." Dallas County Commissioners agreed not to shut down any local precinct polling places due to the rollout of the county-wide vote centers for at least two years while the studied data from those new vote centers.

Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia is optimistic the convenience of the new vote centers will make it easier for people to take part in elections.

Dallas County Commissioners voted 5-0 to submit their plan for vote centers to state officials this month. Tarrant County Commissioners voted 4-1 to submit their proposal.

Both counties hope to hear back from state officials in a few weeks, which would give them plenty of time to roll out the county-wide vote centers and set local polling places for the general election on November 5th.