The Voter Awareness Council intends to implement countywide voting centers throughout Montgomery County for the upcoming general election in November, allowing voters to cast their ballots at any polling location countywide.
Steve Leakey, president of the nonprofit Voter Awareness Council, brought the idea to implement countywide voting centers for the November election to Montgomery County Commissioners Court during the public comment portion of a June 25 meeting.
The proposal is for all Montgomery County polling locations to become voting centers, with no consolidation of precincts on election day.
Montgomery County voters can currently vote at any countywide polling location during early voting, but on election day people must vote at their own precinct’s polling location.
“We want to improve the overall voting process and … increase voter turnout, which is very inconsistent in our county and typically quite low,” Leakey said.
Fifty-seven other counties, including Harris County, implemented similar voting centers in Texas, Leakey said.
“Harris County has been the most recent implementation of vote centers. We’ve had very good meetings with the vote election team, and I’m happy to report they’ve offered their full support should we in Montgomery County choose to move forward,” Leakey said.
Three other citizens spoke during public comment in support of the voting centers and said the following: moving election day out of schools will contribute to school safety; people are already confused about where to go on election day and are being turned away after waiting in line; it should be a statewide system; and it will bring out more voters.
To participate in the countywide polling place program, the state now requires approval by the Commissioners Court and approval by the chairs of both major parties before filing with the secretary of state’s office by Aug. 22.