WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - Wichita County residents can expect to see more vote centers in the area on election day thanks to County Commissioners’ efforts to make it easier to get to the polls.
This November, the nearly 80,000 registered voters in Wichita County will have 26 vote centers to choose from – 16 more than last year.
Wichita County Clerk Lori Bohannan says the new process also allows for more flexibility geographically compared to the past.
Bohannon stated, “Usually you would have to go to your home precinct to vote. This year you can go to any of the vote centers. The way the precinct lines were drawn, you could live across the street from a polling location, but it may not be your location. You may have to drive across town.”
There will be vote centers across the county including two new ones on the east side of Wichita Falls.
One will be at the Kemp Sunnyside Center on Walnut St. The other will be at Jefferson Baptist Church on Jefferson St.
It will be one of many churches where people will be casting their ballots.
Churches were chosen by Wichita County commissioners as vote centers after the Wichita Falls ISD informed the county they did not want their schools being used as vote centers because of the potential risk it posed. Bohannon recalls, “They didn't want people coming in and out of the schools and it not being secure for the students.”
Although there will be less vote centers compared to the number of precinct polling places where people used to vote, Bohannan feels voter turnout will not be negatively affected. She said, “If anything, I'm hoping that it might increase it because it is more convenient. You can go anywhere. That way if you live in Electra and you work in Iowa Park you don't have to try to hurry back over there before seven o'clock.”
25 of the 26 vote centers will only be available for election day on November 6.
For those who would like to vote early there are 6 polling places. Early voting begins Monday, October 22.
Visit News Channel 6’s Election Day page for a complete list of Wichita County voting locations.