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Central Texas introduces new voting procedures

CORYELL COUNTY – Two Central Texas counties introduce new way of voting that could alleviate several Election Day issues.

Lampasas County was selected by the state to run super-precincts during last year's elections and now Coryell County is following suit.

"The overall premise is countywide voting anywhere, it's like having early voting but on Election Day you can go anywhere and vote instead of having to vote in your old precinct," Coryell County Tax Assessor-Collector Justin Carothers said.

The voting centers allow the county to conduct voting in fewer locations than the number of precincts where residents are casting ballots. Last year, Lampasas County introduced five new voting centers during the general election.

"It was a very positive experience for the voters we had given out surveys after they voted asking them to tell us how it went and 92% of the responses were positive," Lampasas County Elections Administrator Dorothy Person said.

Now, Coryell County is in the process to do the same but with 10 voting centers across the county this November.

"It will be faster and smoother which will make the overall experience better for voters," Carothers said.

The new system of voting will not only benefit the person heading to the polls but also the county as a whole.

"This will not increase [county spending] at all we've been preparing for this for a while so we have the poll books ready for each location so there wont be any extra cost, there could be a lower cost because of the lower number of polling places," Carothers said.

So with more and more counties movie towards this voting method, coupled with a high approval rating, election officials said this could be the way of the future.

"I think the legislature will make this a permanent part of the law right now it's a pilot program but I think soon it will be a permanent part where any county can participate as long as they meet the requirements," Carothers said.

To qualify for the program, each county needs to have a complete electronic voting system, those still using paper ballots do not meet the requirement.

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