Late in the 2009 legislative session the Texas legislature passed HB719, which amends Section 43.007 of the Texas Election Code to require the Texas Secretary of State (SOS) to implement a program that allows Commissioner’s Courts in selected counties to eliminate election precinct polling places and establish county-wide Vote Centers for certain elections.
These Election Day Vote Centers work almost exactly like Early Voting Vote Centers. During the early voting period for each election cycle, a number of polling places appear through out the county where any registered voter in the county can vote in any of those places throughout the early voting period.
Collin County gain approval from the Texas Secretary of State to use Vote Centers for the first time on election day in the November, 2009 constitutional amendment election.
The Collin County Commissioner’s Court today voted to authorize Sharon Rowe, the Collin County Elections Administrator, to notify the Director of Elections in the Texas Secretary of State office, that Collin County seeks approval to implement the County Wide Vote Center Program again for the November 2, 2010 election. The Texas Secretary of State is expected to approve the request.
If approved by the Texas SOS, any Collin County registered voter will be able to vote at any of the 70 proposed countywide Vote Centers located around Collin County on Election Day, November 2, 2010.
In 2009, less than 5% of the voters turned out for the constitutional amendment election at one of the 57 countywide Vote Centers. The 2010 General Elections, which headlines the Gubernatorial contest between former Houston Mayor Bill White and incumbent Rick Perry, will likely have a turnout in excess of 38 percent of registered voters.
The 70 proposed countywide Vote Centers, which allows any registered voter to vote at any voting location on election day, is about half the number of polling locations that would be expected under the old local precinct voting location election model.