Williamson County’s early voting sites have changed; here’s why

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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

Austin
Anderson Mill Limited District, 11500 El Salido Parkway

Cedar Park
Cedar Park Public Library, 550 Discovery Blvd.
Randalls, 1400 Cypress Creek Road

Georgetown
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

Leander
Pat Bryson Municipal Hall, 201 N. Brushy St.

Liberty Hill
Liberty Hill Municipal Court, 2801 RR 1869

Round Rock
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
Taylor City Hall, 400 Porter St.

*Voting at Brushy Creek Community Center will close Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.

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2 comments
COMMENT
  1. Do you mean voter suppression in the reduction of polling places in an election like what happened in the May 2019 Georgetown City Council and GISD School Trustee elections when the Parks & Recreation Admin polling location in NE Georgetown was not open? Those who likely benefited from the closure of the regular Parks & Rec polling place said that the location was inconsequential, so no problem.

    The intent of the law to eliminate mobile polling places is to prevent elected officials from exerting political influence to utilize mobile polling places at locations likely to yield a concentration of partisan voters who could swing an election for a particular outcome.

    For instance, governing entities having a mobile polling place at an event or festival where voters are more likely to be in favor of a bond proposition or certain candidates was seen as an unfair election practice.

  2. What a bunch of Republican BS. They’re all about decreasing voter turnout by legal and quasi-legal means because the more people that turn out, the better their chances of losing control of Texas.

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Kelsey Thompson
Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from upstate New York, she relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.
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