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|1||What are Vote Centers?||Vote Centers is a term used to refer to the Countywide Polling Place Program defined in the Texas Elections Code. When a county participates in the program, voters are allowed to cast their ballots in any polling place in the county, just like they do during early voting.|
|2||What does the county need in order to have Vote Centers?||To have Vote Centers, a county must have Electronic Pollbooks (EPBs) and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Tarrant County started using EPBs in 2018 to check voters in at the polls, replacing the old kiosks used in Early Voting and the paper poll books used on election day. New EVMs are expected to be acquired over the summer of 2019, which would complete the technological upgrade required. The county must also apply with the Secretary of State’s office in Austin and be approved.|
|3||Why would Tarrant County want to do Vote Centers?||
There are three (3) main reasons, according to the County Election Administration Department:
1. Voters will have an easier, more hassle-free and pleasant experience if they are not limited on where to go to cast a ballot.
2. Since voters would no longer be limited to a pre-assigned location, there would be no more provisional ballots rejected because the voter is at the wrong location. Currently 30 Percent of the provisional ballots that are rejected are due to the voter going to the wrong location.
3. While this is an optional item, savings could be over $ 100,000 per year by reducing the number of locations needed throughout the County. The decision of whether to close any location or which to close is a decision of the Commissioners Court.
|4||What are the next steps for Vote centers?||
There are some steps that need to be taken before the County can apply with the Texas Secretary of State:
1. Purchasing of the new Voting Equipment must be completed in time for the November 2019 election. Tarrant County expects to complete the purchase this summer.
2. A public hearing on the county's intent to participate in the program must be held in Commissioners Court. This is yet to be scheduled.
3. In a separate session from the public hearing, Commissioners Court must vote on whether or not to join the program.
4. The Secretary of State must receive an application from the County no later than August 22, 2019.
|5||How do I find out more about Vote Centers?||You can contact the Tarrant County Elections Administration Department by calling (817) 831-8683 or emailing us at ElectionsInfo@tarrantcounty.com. You can also visit our website http://tarrantcounty.com/elections, follow our page on Facebook (Tarrant County Elections) or our twitter account @tarrantelection.|
Tarrant County Elections Administration
2700 Premier St.
Fort Worth, TX 76111
Hours of Business: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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