Comal County Commissioners lauded a new era for county voting after unanimously approving a state application to add countywide polling sites for the next election.

Elections Administrator Cynthia Jaqua said the application asks the Texas Secretary of State to approve Comal’s employing the sites for the Nov. 5 constitutional amendment election.  

“If it’s approved by the SOS, it will be a trial run for the 2019 election,” she said. “We’ll get it submitted so it will arrive there before the Aug. 22 deadline.

Jaqua said the county will hear back from the state by Sept. 12. In the meantime, elections officials will be assigning poll staffers and mapping additional sites throughout the 575-square mile county.

“After the vote, we will ask county residents if they like them or not and then submit that information to the SOS’s office before moving forward,” Jaqua said. “This is a big county that’s pretty spread out – and it’s nice to have more voting locations.”

Commissioners recently approved a resolution guaranteeing the current number of precinct polling sites – which had 25 locations serving 28 precincts (now 29) during the 2018 party primaries and general election.

“I know everybody enjoys the benefits of early voting, and this is just an extension of all of those good things,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Donna Eccleston said. “Anytime you can remove barriers to people getting to polls is a positive thing.”

Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Webb agreed.

“I’m excited that I’ll be able to vote anywhere in the county,” he said. “Elections are about access and ideas that (ease) the effort put into voting.”

County Judge Sherman Krause said voters are assured of keeping their neighborhood polling sites, but now have the option of voting throughout the county.

“You want to improve voter access, not take it away,” he said.

If approved by the SOS by Sept. 12, the county will introduce universal sites for the Nov. 5 constitutional amendment election.

Also Thursday, commissioners approved:

A proclamation recognizing the Herman and Ada Knibbe House as a Texas Historical Commission Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.

Final plat for a unit in the Vintage Oaks at the Vineyard subdivision, accepting public frontage along Farm-to-Market Road 2722 and surety for roads and storm water drainage improvements.

Amended plats in portions of the Canyon Lake Hills and Summit North subdivisions.

Acceptance of donated public right-of-way dedication on River Road.

Agreements to add two more Comal County Sheriff’s Office deputies to serve as Comal Independent School District school resource officers; a one-year contract with Comal ISD for 13 deputies as SROs for district campuses through May 30, 2020.

New Braunfels Utilities’ utility easement; memorandums of understanding for exchanged services between the county and the Texas Department of State Health Services and Attorney General’s office; Selection of Dr. Dorothy Overman for medical services as part of the county’s state public health emergency preparedness and response program. 

A supplemental agreement adding a second year to 2018 contracts with two companies providing asphalt materials for the road and bridge department; $1,300 to end a copier lease agreement.

To access Thursday’s meeting video and agenda, visit www.co.comal.tx.us/agenda.htm.

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