Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in June signed into law new legislation that limits the use of mobile early voting sites. Residents living in Williamson County, county officials said, are likely to feel the impact this November.
Mobile polling places are early voting sites that “exist and function for just a subset of a day or two” in an effort to increase voter accessibility during elections season, Williamson County Election Administrator Chris Davis said. House Bill 1888, Davis said, limited any entity’s ability to host temporary voting sites, including counties.
“[Temporary voting sites] really serviced the fringe, rural areas of our county that didn’t warrant a full-time early voting site for two weeks, because that’s costly,” Davis said.
The reason for the passage of HB 1888, Davis said, is related to “rolling polling,” in which governmental entities would move polling places to various locations during the early voting cycle in an effort to attract voters who were more likely to vote in favor of the issue at hand, decreasing general turnout. An example cited by Davis included hosting an ISD bond election at the site of a PTA meeting.
“It was kind of a whack-a-mole system where you’d have pop-up or flash mob kind of early voting that only proponents of a proposition, for instance, would know about,” Davis said.
While Davis said the state’s primary efforts for HB 1888 were to curtail this targeted voter turnout, he and other county officials felt the decision went “overboard” and outlawed legitimate uses of temporary polling sites.
Under HB 1888, early voting sites must be operational for the same days and hourly duration as the county’s office, which acts as the main early voting site.
The new dates, times and locations for early voting in Williamson County are as follows:
Oct. 21-30 – 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Oct. 31-Nov. 1 – 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
No Sunday voting
Anderson Mill Limited District, 11500 El Salido Parkway
Cedar Park Public Library, 550 Discovery Blvd.
Randalls, 1400 Cypress Creek Road
Cowan Creek Amenity Center, 1433 Cool Spring Way
Georgetown ISD Technology Building, 603 Lakeway Drive
Parks & Recreation Administration Building, 1101 N. College St.
Williamson County Inner Loop Annex, 301 SE Inner Loop
Pat Bryson Municipal Hall, 201 N. Brushy St.
Liberty Hill Municipal Court, 2801 RR 1869
Baca Senior Center, 301 W. Bagdad St., Bldg. 2
Brushy Creek Community Center, 16318 Great Oaks Drive*
Randalls, 2051 Gattis School Road
Williamson County Jester Annex, 1801 E. Old Settlers Blvd.
Taylor City Hall, 400 Porter St.
*Voting at Brushy Creek Community Center will close Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.