Jim Wells County applies to countywide polling place program: Here's what to know

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal
Voting and Elections

The Jim Wells County elections administration is taking the initial steps to apply for the Countywide Polling Place Program administered by the Texas Secretary of State. 

The Secretary of State will select six counties with a population of 100,000 or more and four counties with a population of less than 100,000 for participation in the program for an election.

More:Candidates for March 1 election in Duval and Jim Wells Counties

"This next step for the election administration in Jim Wells County would create a better tracking system and more importantly on election day residents will be able to vote anywhere in the county instead of only at their specific precinct of residence," said Richard Guerra, Election Administrator.  "It's the worst circumstance when an elderly couple waits in line to vote at the courthouse and I turn them away during Election Day to go vote in their specific precinct. This program will help in those circumstances and support voters instead of suppressing." 

Jim Wells County Election

The Secretary of State may determine that a county’s participation in the program was “successful” following one election under the program. Once designated as “successful,” that county may continue to use the program for subsequent elections.

"Guerra is looking at better ways to improve voting in the county," County Judge, Juan Rodriguez said. "This would be a pilot program for the county and I'm confident it would be successful under the state standards and could hopefully be implemented for future elections moving forward."

"This is a step in the right direction for transparency," Guerra said. "The courthouse recently purchased the updated equipment and without this technology (we) would not qualify for the program but this is only the application process the county has not been awarded and only four counties with our population will be --- but I really hope our county is chosen." 

The county is expected to have an answer by Feb. 28 on the countywide polling place program application submitted to the state.  

Jim Wells County Courthouse