Jefferson County hopes to make centralized voting permanent - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Jefferson County hopes to make centralized voting permanent

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For the recent November and March elections, Jefferson County voters were able to vote at any of the 53 polling locations in the county, regardless of their precinct.

It was a change from previous elections, and County Clerk Carolyn Guidry says the feedback has been so positive that the county is now looking to make centralized voting permanent.
"I think that's a good thing, you can't always arrange your business so that you can be in your precinct to vote," said registered voter and Beaumont resident Edra Bogucki.

"It also eliminated the problem of people going to the wrong polling location and being a little bit disgusted when they get there only to find out that they're in the wrong place," said Guidry.

Guidry says 30% of those who voted on March 4th did so outside of their precinct.  While overall turnout was down compared to previous years, possibly due to bad weather, Guidry doesn't see that becoming a trend.

"I think as word gets out and people become more familiar that you can vote anywhere on election day, we expect to see that number certainly increase," Guidry said.

Monday County Commissioners will vote on whether to submit an application to the Texas Secretary of State that, if granted, would allow centralized voting in all upcoming elections.

"If it's granted... then we will no longer have to apply before each individual election," said Guidry.

Commissioners Court will listen to input from the public before voting, but Guidry does not expect anyone to speak against making the change permanent.

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