The midterm elections are now in the rearview mirror and for that election, Wichita County made a change to the polling locations

This was the first major election that on election day used centralized voting centers instead of precincts while implementing those vote centers went well, there were still some issues on Election Day.

The move to the centralized voting centers was made for convenience, to keep people from having to find their certain precinct and officials liked what they saw as a result of that change.

“As far as the first big election to operate vote centers I think that part really went pretty well and we told people we would try to keep the same number of voting locations,” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said. “Well then security issues in schools changed and we lost all of our public school locations so we had to use a lot of private locations.”

And one issue with that came from using those private locations was campaign signs being on the property.

“I’m not sure where we go onto private property,” Gossom said. “My basic property rights feeling is, it’s their property all we are doing is renting the space inside to have the election the rest remains theirs. But there may be something in the election law that allows that.”

In fact, Texas election law does specifically allow for the signs. Meanwhile, voters enjoyed being able to cast their vote anywhere and not be restricted to a certain precinct location to vote in.

“I really enjoyed it. It was quick. It was easy to get through. There wasn’t a whole lot of people so we didn’t spend a lot of time standing in line. We really enjoyed it. My wife and I both did,” Wichita County resident Bill Myers said.

Many voters were able to get multiple things done in one stop at polling locations like Sike Senter Mall or elementary schools in the area.

“The places this year you can vote anywhere is great. It really worked easy. My daughter goes to school here so, I just stopped in and voted at the same time,” Chad Crowley said.

There were a couple reasons it took some time for the results to come in.

“That happened to some of our people last night,” Gossom said. “They couldn’t get some of the stuff to close out. Mrs. Bohannon said bring it here we’ll run it. She informed the secretary of state’s office they said very good decision because they were wanting results. The other thing is we had a tremendous number of mail-in ballots.”

Despite a few hiccups in the process, the centralized polling centers were a big hit among officials and the voters

Gossom said he expects the vote centers to be used for every election going forward and doesn’t see a time there would be a need to go back to voting in precincts.