MIDLAND, Texas — A new bill has gone into effect regarding Midland County voter safety. It’s called Senate Bill One and according the Midland County Elections Office, this will change the Midland County offices operate.
Elections are just around the corner, polls are about to open. Are you prepared to vote? Midland County is looking to protect their community with new voter security laws.
According to the Midland County Elections Administrator, Carolyn Graves, “Sb 1 was an election law that change a lot of things for the way we do.”
Graves goes on to state that included in the new voter security laws, are new identification requirements, specifically for voting by mail, and video surveillance systems.
“It is now required on the application and on the return envelope, either their drivers license, their personal ID number or their last four of their social, must be on that,” adds Graves. “We have installed surveillance cameras in our ballot room, where our ballot board meets, where we count the ballots, and then in our central count station on election night.”
Along with the new procedures, Graves says there is also a new wall being built inside the Midland County Elections Office. The wall is not only being built in place of their previous dividers, which she states were too short, but also help provide an extra sense of security for every voter, especially for those voting on limited ballots.
“That is anyone that moves from one Texas county, to another Texas county, but didn’t get there in time to register and is still registered in their old county, can vote whatever the two counties have in common. And so were trying to give that a little more privacy,” says Graves.
Some Midlanders say that they’ve never felt that elections in the county were unsafe, but some extra precautions never hurt anyone.
“We need integrity, to make sure that every vote counts, but that they’re honest votes,” says local Midlander, Steve Gibson.
Now, based on the last gubernatorial election, the Midland County Elections Office is anticipating around 40,000 voters for the primary elections, but of course, always hope for more. With the new senate bill, they believe the new implementations will help with voter turnout.
Graves mentions, “I want the voters to feel comfortable, that’s the main thing. We’re doing everything that we can, and we always have, to make the voters feel like that when they walk in here and they vote, that when they walk out and feel comfortable.”
Early voting begins on February 14th and primary election day is March 1st. It’s coming up fast, so keep an eye on those important dates, and watch out for any updates from your county.