April 21, 2023- Countywide voting program locations could be effectively banned in Texas under a new bill approved by Texas senate Thursday.
Senate Bill 990, authored by Republican Sen. Bob Hall of Edgewood, passed with a 17-12, just along party lines. Should the bill be approved would eliminate countywide voting centers on Election Day and require residents to vote at an assigned precinct, typically in their neighborhood. Larger voting centers would be permitted through early voting.
There are currently 90 different counties approved by the secretary of state’s office to use countywide voting centers on Election Day. Hall said on Thursday that spreading voting locations across a precinct makes it “impossible” to ensure an accurate count and that limiting voters to a central polling location would simplify the tally.
There has been no evidence of voter fraud in Texas. And each county that has been approved to use countywide voting policies must pass audits by the secretary of state’s office during two election cycles to keep the practice in place.
The Bill now moves to the House, where an identical Bill, House Bill 5231, introduced by Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, has not moved in the Elections Committee.