AUSTIN (Nexstar) — With changes to this year’s election process amid the pandemic, some voters still have questions.
“I just want a fair election,” 63-year-old Joan Nosewicz said. She’s worried the governor’s most recent change, which limits counties to just one ballot drop-off location, could cause confusion.
“It’s not that difficult. They’re making it difficult, and it doesn’t need to be,” Nosewicz said, “With Gov. Abbott’s decision to limit the drop-off boxes, that’s just one more way of voter suppression. And it’s just wrong. It’s completely wrong.”
Voters aren’t the only ones having a tough time keeping up. Elections administrators have had to adjust their plans at least four times this year.
“The first one was the Libertarian Party candidates. The second one was the Green Party candidates, when many counties in Texas had already sent out their by-mail ballots and printed them,” Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir explained.
Other changes include adding PPE to each polling location for staff. Altogether, things have added up.
“It would have cost Travis County approximately $2.2 million to conduct this presidential election…but with all the things we have to do to protect voters from COVID, we are spending $6.9 million,” DeBeauvoir said.
Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs said her election division is in constant contact with these local officials.
“We’re all working really hard to get it right,” Hughs said, adding that no matter how voters decide to cast their ballot, it will be securely counted.
“Security has always been front and center,” Hughs said. “All of the measures that we’ve taken, all the guidelines that we’re giving the counties, is really to make sure they’re informed and up to date,, and that they’re complying with those guidelines so that in fact, every vote will be secure, and voters can have confidence in their vote.”
This year, Texas has a record-setting number of voters registered: 16.6 million.
“Our numbers are at an all time high, and the reality is that with or without a pandemic, our democracy is as strong as the electoral process that supports it,” Hughs said.
For any voters with questions, votetexas.gov has plenty of answers.
“You can also go to your county’s website or call your county clerk directly and find out what polling locations are available for your area, the status of your mail-in ballot or any information that you may want to get from them,” Hughs said.
Hughs could not comment on matters related to pending litigation, including the governor’s most recent proclamation limiting ballot drop-off locations.