CORRECTION: The original version of this story indicated only four voting places with a fifth to be added. Burnet County. The DailyTrib.com regrets the error.
Burnet County may add a sixth polling location to its usual four during off-year elections so residents in Oakalla and Briggs will not have to drive 90 miles round-trip to vote on eight constitutional amendments slated for the Nov. 2 ballot.
The change will not become official until commissioners vote at the next meeting Aug. 24.
Polling places are consolidated during off-year elections because of low voter turnout. When the list of five locations was presented to the Burnet County Commissioners Court for approval, Precinct 2 Commissioner Damon Beierle pointed out the distance his constituents have to travel to get to the nearest polling place in Bertram. He asked to add a location in that area.
According to county elections administrator Doug Ferguson, the cost to the county would be close to $100 a vote to open a poll there. He pointed to the turnout in 2019, another constitutional amendment election that actually generated more activity than usual because of a tax change.
“We only got fifteen hundred voters for the whole county,” Ferguson said. “It’s insane how low the turnout is in an off-year.”
Total cost in the Briggs/Oakalla area would be less than $1,000, Beierle told the court.
“I can help find people to work (the polling location),” he said.
Other commissioners agreed and decided to hold off until Aug. 24 so Ferguson can add the location to the list and include the names of the poll workers to the record.
Early voting for the eight constitutional amendments begins Oct. 17. Any registered voter living in Burnet County can vote at any of the five locations that will be open.
NOV. 2, 2021, POLLING PLACES
- AgriLife Auditorium, 607 N. Vandeveer, Burnet
- Highland Haven Community Center, 118 Blackbird Drive
- Bertram Library, 170 N. Gabriel St.
- Granite Shoals Community Center, 1208 N. Phillips Ranch Road
- Marble Falls Courthouse Annex, 810 Steve Hawkins Parkway
- Briggs Community Center, 215 Loop 308
Burnet County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in the Burnet County Courthouse, 220 S Pierce St. in Burnet. Meetings are in person and open to the public.