With a presidential primary election less than two months away, the Gonzales County Commissioners Court took steps Tuesday, Jan. 7 to clarify some of its election procedural policies. Among the changes approved was the relocation of two election day polling locations.
Voters in Precinct 1 will now vote on election day at the Randle Rather Building located at 427 Saint George St. in Gonzales, while voters in Precinct 4/6 will vote at the City of Nixon Building located at 100 W 3rd Street in Nixon. Precinct 1 stretches westward from the borders of Lavaca and DeWitt Counties into the city of Gonzales and Precinct 4/6 is located in the most southwestern portion of the county and encompasses all of the city of Nixon.
Both changes were made to reduce confusion on election day and because the new locations feature more space for the voting equipment purchased last year.
“The majority of people came to our office (Tax Assessor-Collector) first to vote (last November), since early voting is there,” County Voter Registrar Crystal Cedillo said of the Precinct 1 location.
Previously, the Gonzales County Courthouse and the Gonzales County Nixon Annex served as the election day polling locations for Precincts 1 and 4/6 respectively. In the election last November, Randle Rather and the Nixon City Building served as early voting locations but were not used on election day.
The court also approved allowing Precinct 3 employees to assist with the delivery of election equipment on March 2 and the unloading of equipment at the Randle Rather Building on election night, March 3. Other commissioners may provide workers in the event they are needed.
Discussions on hiring security for election night at the Randle Rather Building were tabled for a future meeting. Sheriff Matt Atkinson suggested a third-party law enforcement entity with no vested ties in the election be hired. Sheriff and all three Constables are on the ballot this March. It was determined the Gonzales Police Department should be contacted and the court will revisit the issue at a later meeting.
Lastly, the court set its leasing fees for its voting equipment for this year’s upcoming municipal elections. The county will charge $75 per machine to lease to cities, school board and other local government entities for this year’s election cycle. The four city councils in county, three school boards and the hospital and water districts all have positions up for election in May. Further details such as how many machines the county is willing to lease at once will be determined at a later time.