Dallas County is planning for and preparing to transform the place and method by which County registered voters cast their ballots on Election Day. The County has approved moving toward participating in Texas’ Countywide Polling Place Program. Countywide polling locations (also known as “Vote Centers”) are an alternative to traditional, neighborhood precinct-based polling locations. The transition to Vote Centers allows voters to cast their ballots on Election Day at any vote center in the jurisdiction, regardless of their residential address. Voter will vote their specific (precinct-based) ballot anywhere in Dallas County.
To facilitate this progress to Vote Centers, Dallas County has also procured new voting and tabulation equipment. Dallas County Elections Administrator, Toni Pippins-Poole said, “We have worked hard for several years to seek out and procure the best system for Dallas County voters: a system that is safe, secure and that makes the voting process easier and more transparent.”
The Dallas County Election Department (“DCED”) has already replaced the traditional (old) precinct paper pollbooks with next-generation electronic pollbooks (e-Pollbooks). The new countywide-capable e-Pollbooks were deployed during the May 4th Joint and June 8th Joint Runoff Elections. Newly procured countywide-capable voting and tabulation equipment will be introduce in the upcoming November 5, 2019 General (Constitutional Amendment) Election. The new equipment will also be used for early voting locations.
Texas first allowed use of countywide polling locations in 2006. There are currently 56 Counties that participate in this program.
The Texas Secretary of State’s report to the 86th Legislature provides encouragement that Vote Centers can provide several benefits, including:
l Voter convenience — Citizens can vote near home, near work or school, or anywhere that is convenient.
l Increased Voter Turnout – because of number and placement of convenient locations.
To introduce this new and exciting transition, the Dallas County Elections Department (“DECD) is inviting the public to attend and participate in public information meetings that will provide more information about Vote Centers and the new voting equipment that will make them possible, preferred and practical. “We are so excited to present this open process and updated voting system to the Dallas County’s voters. We hope they will come out, see what is being showcased and become excited with us” Pippins-Poole said.
Several meetings have been scheduled. By, “meeting”, it is meant that communities are invited to attend (come-and-go format); be given information; receive answers to their questions; look at and actually vote on the new countywide voting equipment; and, provide feedback on their experience. The schedule for the meetings already planned is as follows:
Monday, June 24, 2019
Eastfield College Pleasant Grove Campus
802 S. Buckner Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75217
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Friendship West Baptist Church
2020 W. Wheatland Rd., Dallas, Texas 75232
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Thursday, June 27, 2019
West Dallas Multipurpose Center
2828 Fish Trap Rd., Dallas, Texas 75212
6:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Dallas County Admin Bldg., Allen Clemson Courtroom
411 Elm Street, 1st Floor, Dallas, Texas 75202
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
(MORE MEETINGS WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON)
Attendees will be able to learn more about vote center benefits. They will also learn more about and actually use (vote on) the modern equipment that makes countywide polling locations possible. The public will also be able to ask questions and provide feedback of what they think about what they see.
Dallas County residents can obtain more information about Vote Centers, and provide their feedback at: https://www.dallascountyvotes.org/countywide-polling-places/.