East Texas elections offices share concerns about countywide polling bill

East Texas elections offices share concerns about countywide polling bill
Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 1:19 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2023 at 6:59 PM CDT
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EAST, Texas (KLTV) - Senate Bill 990, which would eliminate countywide polling, passed the committee just last week.

Countywide polling means people can cast a ballot at any location regardless of precinct. If passed, the new bill would restrict voting locations to the voter’s precinct.

It was written by District 2 Republican State Senator Bob Hall who says the bill would fix the issues that he says countywide polling presents.

“Some election workers express concerns that countywide voting increases vulnerabilities in election securities and frustrates a chain of custody measures. It is an unnecessary convenience that sacrifices that sacrifices election security.”

Self described conservative watchdog Jack Finger of San Antonio is in favor of the bill because of election integrity concerns.

“The electronic fraud can make a sixty percent winner look like a forty percent loser. I don’t like that.”

But Amber Mills with Move Texas Action Fund says location inconvenience would occur.

“For others such as those who work late, early in the morning, or multiple jobs, countywide voting offers more flexibility within limited voting hours to be able to make a plan to vote based on where they will be and when.”

Gregg County and Smith County have countywide polling. Jennifer Briggs with the Gregg County elections office talked about the affects of the bill, if it passes.

“It would change the whole process. We would have to open up more polling places. We’d have to have more workers. We’d have to have more equipment. It would be more of an expense on the tax payers because we would have to pay more money for those type of things.”

Smith County election administrator Michelle Allcon also shared her concerns.

“If you were narrowing their polling places to just a single polling place, it would make it much more difficult for those individuals to vote.”

It’s not clear when this bill will hit the senate floor for debate.