Tarrant County

Concerns Raised New Voting Rules May Impact College Students

In Tarrant County, there were eight temporary voting sites on college campuses during the 2018 election. Now there is some concern they won't be there any longer.

"There's a lot of students on campus who don't have a good means of transportation, and so often times they really rely on their early voting location to cast their ballot in the first place. And so having that taken away means that they just won't be able to vote," said Gavin Mitchell, UTA student body president.

Temporary voting sites now have to be open throughout the early voting period, according to House Bill 1888. In the past, some have not stayed open the entire 12 days. Counties will have to cover the cost of operations. In Tarrant County, the commissioners discussed keeping the voting sites open, but they won't make the decision until next year.

"We want to encourage as many people to vote as we can," said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitely.

Mitchell said he remains hopeful.

"We have been in contact with Tarrant County. We have sent letters. I support an executive memo in student government, and we are pretty optimistic at least by March," Mitchell said.

Officials tell NBC 5 that the temporary locations are mostly used during presidential and gubernatorial elections.

For the Nov. 5 election, Tarrant County has implemented countywide polling sites, which means voters can vote an any polling place.

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