For residents in Nueces County, election day voting can be an inconvenience. Nueces County officials are currently considering one method that may streamline the process and make voting easier for voters. County officials wish to get the public reaction regarding the implementation of a countywide polling place program.
Nueces County officials intend to apply with the State of Texas for the ability to enact the program but wish to get public responses for the program. County Clerk Kara Sands has already received approval from County Republican Party Chair Mike Bergsma and County Democratic Party Chair Jennifer Ellis as well as Judge Loyd Neal. A public meeting was held this past Monday at the Nueces County Courthouse to answer questions and get concerns from the public about the program.
The stated purpose for implementing the program is to give voters a better opportunity to vote by allowing them to use the most convenient polling place available to them on election day rather than using their home precinct. At the moment, Nueces County has 127 districts of which 27 districts are not compliant with state and federal laws. According to Sands, the program would mean a reduction in available polling places. However, it would open up those polling places to individuals who may not have an opportunity to vote in their precinct on election day.
According to Sands, the biggest concern from voters is whether the county would have enough time to implement the program. “The majority of people at the meeting support the idea. It's all the same system that we use for early voting with a live system that notes when residents cast their votes,” said Sands. Sands stated that the new system would allow voters to use the most convenient polling place rather than their precinct. It would also reduce the number of polling places needed to serve the county by consolidation and closing others with lower turnout.
The commissioner's court will be voting on the matter during their monthly meeting at 9:15 AM on July 13 in the third floor of the Nueces County Courthouse. To give feedback, contact the Nueces County Clerk's Office at (361)888-0580 or go online to www.co.nueces.tx.us to get information on the county commissioner's.