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A proposed sixth polling place for the Nov. 2 special election on eight constitutional amendments was nixed by Burnet County commissioners at their Tuesday, Aug. 24, meeting. 

Precinct 2 Commissioner Damon Beierle had requested a sixth polling place in the Briggs/Oakalla area at the Aug. 10 meeting, noting the distance that residents in that area have to drive to vote at the nearest polling place, which is in Bertram. At the time, he quoted 90 miles as the round-trip distance. 

He apologized Aug. 24 for the inaccurate estimate. 

“I got a call from some of the folks down River Road and was told it is a 72-mile round trip,” Beierle said. “They are not as far as the county line, so in my mind, I rounded it out to 90 miles.”

The need remains as 72 miles is still a long way and his constituents in the area would benefit from a polling place, he said. Also, it would only cost about $800. 

Beierle added that he already had volunteers to work the polling place during early voting and on Election Day. 

“The question becomes if we start adding exceptions, where do we draw the line,” County Judge James Oakley said. “They have easy access to mail-in ballots and early voting.” 

Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Don Dockery added that anyone can vote at any of the county’s polling places regardless of where they live. The early voting period is two weeks long.

“If they come into town for something, they have plenty of time to vote,” he said. 

Beierle made a motion to add the sixth polling place, which died for lack of a second. A motion to approve the five polling places as presented by County Election Administrator Doug Ferguson passed on a 4-1 vote. Beierle cast the dissenting vote.

NOV. 2, 2021, POLLING PLACES

  • AgriLife Auditorium, 607 N. Vandeveer St., 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

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. 

suzanne@thepicayune.com