LAMPASAS — County commissioners were asked Monday to request voting centers for future elections as a report released to them on the same day showed the consolidated polling location’s results in November.
“We would encourage the county to apply for (voting centers) every year,” said Dorothy Person, the county’s former elections administrator. “We feel that they are a plus.”
Voting centers allow the county to conduct voting in fewer locations than the number of precincts where residents are casting ballots. It also allows residents to cast ballots in any of those locations.
During November’s election, Lampasas, one of 12 Texas counties using voting centers, had voting locations in five cities: Adamsville, Lometa, Lampasas, Kempner and Copperas Cove.
The system operates using the Internet and having each location constantly updated on who is voting, so people can’t vote twice, Person said.
About 39 percent of the county’s registered voters cast ballots in the election, Person said, which is about average for a presidential election.
According to the report, which polled more than 500 people who used the voting centers, the majority of residents favored using the consolidated polling sites.
There was lot of crossover among precincts, meaning people voted in precincts not near their residence, Person said.
The only negative seen was long lines, Person said, but there traditionally are long lines during presidential elections anyway. A voting center also was offline in Adamsville at 7 p.m. due to technical problems, but it was fixed in about two minutes.
Despite long lines, the voting centers were still better for those making it to the polls later in the evening, said Marcia Wallace, an election judge.
“As an election judge, I had to turn people away at 6:30 p.m. that were not from the precinct I was working in previous years,” Wallace said to the court. “It was nice not to have to turn anyone away, and they all got to vote.”
The request to continue to use the centers would go to the secretary of state, Person said.
In other action, commissioners extended a countywide burn ban for 90 days, but suspended it until Feb. 1.