One county at a time, vote centers coming to Texas
Continuing pilot program gains counties each election

Some revolutions start with a shot and others take time to build.

In Texas, a slow-building revolution is moving one county at a time to switch the largest state in the lower 48 to a vote center system instead of the traditional precinct-based polling places.

Since beginning a pilot program of vote centers nearly a decade ago just over 10 percent of the state’s 200+ counties used vote centers in the most recent statewide election and more are petitioning to make the move.

While not willing to call the pilot an outright success because of the still small sample of counties using the system, the secretary of state’s report to the 84th Legislature on the program said anecdotally, vote centers do make easier for voters and elections officials alike.

“However, anecdotal evidence from the participating counties, including feedback from voters and election officials, along with the turnout percentages, suggest countywide election polling places offer a way to ensure that voters who plan to vote in the election have an increased opportunity to do so much as with early voting,” the report said. Read more…