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Victoria County Elections Office will host a PUBLIC HEARING on Tuesday, January 29th at 6:30 pm in the classrooms of the Patti Dodson Health Center. The topic is county-wide polling locations in Victoria County for the May and November uniform election dates. The general public is invited to attend and make suggestions or express their views on the subject.

Currently on any election day a voter may vote only at their election precinct polling location. This has caused confusion for some and a missed opportunity to vote for others. If you were registered and moved, your election day precinct is the registered address, not the new home. Voters would have to return to their old precinct to vote and if they came late in the day may not have enough time to reach their old precinct polling location. Additionally voters who may work near a polling location that was not in their election precinct would have to return to their home precinct before casting their ballot.

A change to county-wide polling locations would allow a voter to enter any election day polling location and cast their ballot.

This is similar to the way in which we conduct early voting. Any voter may enter any early voting polling location and cast their ballot. This is accomplished by having every ballot style available at every early voting polling location. A change to county-wide would include in every polling location on election day every ballot style within the county.

We have not done this before due to several requirements which must be met prior to implementing Vote Centers.

One requirement is every polling location or vote center must have a real time connection to a registration database which logs every voter who casts a ballot on election day and prevents them from going to another polling location to vote a second time. Over the last couple of years we have been perfecting our access to the registration database where we can now offer this in most election precincts in the county. The early voting sites have always had this capability.

Another requirement is the county must use direct-recording voting system to cast and tabulate the votes cast. Our experience in utilizing our current voting system has grown over the last several years.

The third requirement is a public hearing must be held prior to implementing this change in election day voting. We want to hear from the general public the positive and negative aspects of using Vote Centers. A recording will be made of the public hearing and submitted with our application.

An application to change to county-wide polling locations must be submitted to the Texas Secretary of State who will review the application and either approve or disallow the county's request. Only a limited number of counties can change in a given year.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Elections Office at 576-0124 or e-mail us at elections@vctx.org.

Remember, a PUBLIC HEARING will be held on Tuesday, January 29th at 6:30 pm in the classrooms at the Patti Dodson Health Center.