Grayson Co. Commissioners approve changing voting locations

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- Tuesday, Grayson County Commissioners unanimously approved reducing the number of polling locations in the county from 36 to 22, making those 22 locations voting centers, where any county resident can cast a ballot on Election Day.

But the motion came with major opposition.

"This will have a highly chilling effect on voter turnout for several reasons," concerned resident Kathy Williams said.

Opponents say that reducing the number of polling locations would further reduce voter turnout, especially inhibiting elderly and low income voters, as well as those with limited transportation.

"We know there are people without cars, we know there are people without access to transportation," concerned resident Tony Beaverson said.

"What we didn't hear was how they're going to do the metrics, how they're going to determine if minority voters are having to drive farther to get to these reduced number of places," Williams said.

But County Clerk Wilma Bush says they factored voter access into the new voting center plan.

"We looked at the rural areas and made sure that there is a vote center in each area," Bush said.

Bush says other Texas counties have already implemented this model and these new voting centers will likely save the county money in the long run.

It will cost $27,000 up front, part of it toward educating voters on the new polling locations.

"Specifically we want to do signage: we want to have signs and banners in front of the voting centers, so it's easily recognizable for the voters," Bush said.

The county will still need approval from the Secretary of State in order for the new voting location plan to be official.

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