AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Potter County District Clerk's Office is updating the jury selection process with a two-step system.
Potential jurors will receive postcards in the mail with instructions to complete an online or over-the-phone questionnaire.
“We’ll send out a mass postcard on the pre-qualifications,” said Potter County District Clerk Carley Snider. “You’ll have 10 days in order to get that back in and you’ll have you’ll call in on the phone system, which is going to be 24/7. Or if you don’t want to do it over the phone, there will be a person, a live person you can speak with.”
From there, a smaller pool of people will receive an official jury summons.
“It’s going to be a lot faster, a process a lot faster, because the lines won’t be long, you won’t have to stand in line to check in anymore,” said Snider. “Everything will have already been filled out. It’s going to be quicker for the judges when they come in to qualify you.”
Snider said the previous method of sending the questionnaire with the jury summons was not effective.
People would forget to fill them out, forget to bring them to the courthouse, or the county would not receive the filled-out questionnaire on time if it was sent in the mail.
“A lot of times, we wouldn’t have enough people for jury duty, especially if we had a lot of panels, a lot of courts going that day,” she said. “So this will eliminate that because you’re already going to be pre-qualified.”
The new system is expected to save Potter County and its taxpayers thousands of dollars in stationary and postage costs.
“We’re looking right now at savings of $25,000 a year, if not more,” said Snider.
The District Clerk’s Office is expecting to send out postcards under the new system within the next month.
“They don’t have to worry about mailing in their summonses, then coming in and we haven’t received it yet and then they’re having to fill out a new one,” said Deputy District Clerk Supervisor Laura Poindexter. “So the process is going to be a lot quicker. We’re going to save money by not sending out as many jury summons because we’re only going to have pre-qualified, good jurors to choose from.”