Potter County Commissioner’s Court listens to recommended changes for next year’s elections

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 6:26 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2021 at 6:33 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Potter County Republican Party was on today’s county commissioners’ court agenda requesting big changes on how we count votes and it split the courtroom.

The party proposed a resolution to the court to do away with voting centers and to stop using electronic poll machines to count votes.

They requested that voting move back to individual precincts with paper ballots to be hand counted.

“It’s hard to beat paper, you can’t hack paper. Now whether our machines have been hacked, I never made that accusation, but we know they could be because anything can be,” said Dan Rogers, chair for the Potter County Republican Party.

With the concern over voter security, the republican party also claims that voters are not comfortable using them, and it’s wasting taxpayers money.

This resolution immediately received opposing viewpoints from election officials and local residents.

The court decided to not take any action on this proposal.

For the March primaries, the democratic party will vote at voting centers using electronic polling.

The republican party will be at voting centers for early voting, but at individual precincts on election day.

The party will count those votes by hand.

Using voting factors based on the 2020 elections, Rogers calculates it will take 1,000 man hours for people to count ballots.

A computerized voting system with paper verification will go into effect in Potter County after the primary.

It’s one of the first counties in Texas to use this new system making minimum impact on the county budget purchasing it.

Potter county elections administrator, MeLynn Huntley says it will enhance accuracy in ballot counts.

“The results are printed after the voter has selected them,” said Huntley. “That [way] we don’t have to worry about ‘Can we read what the voter wanted, did they mark it correctly,’ so there’s a lot of advantages to having a machine that actually marks it for you.”

This new system will go into effect in June.

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