YOUNG COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Young County is getting some new technology for their voting machines.
Senate Bill 598 says that machines in the state must have an auditable paper voting system. While the bill doesn’t take effect until September, Young County officials are getting ready now.
With allegations of voter fraud being prevalent in this past year’s elections, Texas lawmakers are currently looking to pass legislation that would ban drive-thru and 24-hour voting, as well as creating new ID requirements for voting by mail.
While legislators sort that out in a special session, one voting bill that has been signed demands that votes be audited no later than 24 hours after an election.
“This is going to be a statistical analysis of the elections based on those systems that are able to tabulate and have a paper ballot backup,” 26th District Representative Jacey Jetton said.
While the bill doesn’t go into effect until September, counties that don’t have machines for this procedure, like Young County, must get ready for this new law.
“And, if they did it correctly, they’re going to get that checkmark. There’s gonna be some explanation here of what’s gonna happen to the paper throughout the process. Again, a new component to the voting process,” Hart Intercivic representative Juan Garcia said.
“There’s always gonna be questions in elections. People want to make sure that everything is done correctly and we expect that. And, this is probably just another tool that we’ll have in our back pocket to be able to show that, yes, votes that were legally cast were actually counted the way they were intended,” Young County Election Administrator Lauren Sullivan said.
The Texas Secretary of State will select the precincts to be counted and the office or proposition to be counted. Young County officials say they don’t think this will change the voting process much.
“We also will see voter who are younger and not used to having paper involved in their lives. They will also have some challenges of knowing what to do and how to ask for assistance,” Sullivan said. “We expect for these voters to have some questions and we’re ready to answer those and that’s what those poll workers do all day long.”
While the process is not much different, Young County officials say they’re ready to answer voters and ready for elections when they come around in November. Sullivan says they hope to have this new technology by the May election.
If interested in being a poll worker call the elections office at 940-521-9483.