Webb County to use countywide polling places in November

Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 2:14 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - November elections are a few months away but preparations are on the way.

People can now say goodbye to confusion on Election Day after a new addition is on its way to the Elections Office.

On Monday, June 13, Webb County commissioners approved the Elections Office to participate in a “countywide precinct polling place program” which would open four new polls just in time for November elections.

Elections administrator Jose Luis Castillo shared more on the new approval: “The countywide polling location would allow the office to open up four polling locations on Election Day throughout the county of Webb in which any person, regardless of where they reside or where they live, could go vote. In essence, those places would be like an early voting polling site that anyone can go vote.”

These new sites would solve the problem every voters has on Election Day: Where do I go and vote?

This also means that anyone close to the polls and may be getting out of work can choose these polling sites rather than rushing to their designated precinct.

The Webb County Democratic Party Chair Sylvia Bruni says this will benefit the entire community. “I thought it was a grand idea. We’ve been talking about it now for months. It’s something that has begun to develop in other counties. It’s very effective, it’s efficient, it actually makes it easier for voters to get to a poll. In some ways, it’s similar to what happens in early voting. Early voting is very popular because it gives you and me an opportunity to vote wherever,” Bruni says.

By approving these sites, the Elections Office announced they can close up to 35% of existing voting sites and replace them with the new ones. Castillo shares that by closing these sites it would not impact the flow of voters. “The studies have shown that in counties that have implemented this already throughout the state of Texas, the voter participation has increased,” Castillo says.

At this time, the Elections Office has not announced which precincts will close to replace new sites, but they assure the public they will not travel more than three miles to their designated site. If the project is deemed successful in November, the new polling sites could stay for future elections. The location of the new sites is yet to be determined.

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