Super Tuesday With Dallas County Voting Centers

New method allows Dallas County voters to cast ballots at any polling place

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Dallas County is ready for Super Tuesday despite some hurdles, according to county officials and leaders of both parties.

A switch to Voting Centers, that residents strongly supported, means people who are registered can cast ballots at any polling place in the county, not just their home precinct.

New equipment is similar to what was used before in early voting. Electronic touch screens have a paper ballot back up.

Assistant Dallas County Election Supervisor Robert Heard demonstrated the new equipment for NBC 5 in September.

“The memory of the machine, we take that out and we hand deliver that to a location where it can be counted,” Heard said.

Last week, that number two election official left Dallas County government, just days before Super Tuesday.

“He had to resign because his mom who had been ill took a turn for the worse and I think he had the right priority,” Dallas County Democratic Chair Carol Donovan said.

She said other officials in the election office were prepared and have managed the change.

But a new hurdle came Sunday when a trucking company failed to meet expectations for distributing election equipment to voting centers.

“Picking up election equipment was a little difficult, in some areas in particular,” said Dallas County Republican Party Chair Rodney Anderson.

Another company was found and the job was finished.

“All the election judges that had been waiting there for hours just pitched in to get it all sorted,” Donovan said.

Both political parties failed to recruit the number of poll workers needed to staff the new voting centers.

“We all knew that trying to get 500 election judges each side was going to be very difficult from the very beginning,” Anderson said.

Dallas County hired and quickly trained scores of temporary workers and the number of voting center polling places was trimmed to 468.

Judging from strong turnout in early voting for this election, the party leaders expect polling places may be very busy on Super Tuesday when about half the total election ballots are typically cast.

“So it’s going to look pretty packed because you’ve got 50 percent of the voters all voting on the same day instead of an extended period like early voting,” Donovan said.

Both party leaders said they believe Dallas County is ready for Super Tuesday. 

“I think things are in order and anybody who wants to go vote tomorrow that’s registered to vote will be able to vote and any of the polling locations,” Anderson said.

With the easier Election Day arrangements, the party leaders said they hope weather and fear of disease will not keep voters away.

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