Early polling locations approved for Hays County

The+Sinai+Pentecostal+Church+at+208+Lardeo+St.%2C+one+of+only+two+early+polling+locations+on+the+east+side+of+Interstate+35+for+2019+election%2C+will+only+be+used+for+Election+Day+2020.
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Early polling locations approved for Hays County

The Sinai Pentecostal Church at 208 Lardeo St., one of only two early polling locations on the east side of Interstate 35 for 2019 election, will only be used for Election Day 2020.

The Sinai Pentecostal Church at 208 Lardeo St., one of only two early polling locations on the east side of Interstate 35 for 2019 election, will only be used for Election Day 2020.

Chase Rogers

The Sinai Pentecostal Church at 208 Lardeo St., one of only two early polling locations on the east side of Interstate 35 for 2019 election, will only be used for Election Day 2020.

Chase Rogers

Chase Rogers

The Sinai Pentecostal Church at 208 Lardeo St., one of only two early polling locations on the east side of Interstate 35 for 2019 election, will only be used for Election Day 2020.

Gabriella Ybarra, News Reporter

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Early voting locations, dates and times for the March 3 primaries were unanimously approved by the Hays County Commissioners Court Jan. 14.

Although the county originally planned to begin voting Monday, Feb. 17, the court settled for Tuesday, Feb. 18 because Monday falls on Presidents Day, according to Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson.

The and times are listed as follows:

Feb. 18-21, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Feb. 22, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Feb. 23, 1-6 p.m.

Feb. 24-28, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Election Day voting will be March 3, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Voters will be able to choose from any of the listed locations during the early voting period following the approval of countywide polling by the Texas Secretary of State’s Office Dec. 31, 2019.

Despite past pushes to remove it, Texas State’s LBJ Student Center is among the list of polling locations and will be available during the early voting period and Election Day.

In San Marcos, the Sinai Pentecostal Church was used for early voting and Election Day; however, upon recommendation of Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson, the location is now only slated for Election Day voting.

“Those locations cannot commit to their facility being used for the full two weeks of early voting due to other event commitments,” Anderson said.

Chapa Middle School in Kyle was removed from the list of locations, while a location at the Hays County Yarrington office was added. Anderson said the Yarrington office has added convenience and accessibility.

“The facility itself has good parking, accessibility and is able to commit to the full schedule,” Anderson said. “In addition, its location on the east side of Interstate 35 and the border of San Marcos and Kyle makes it a convenient location for many east-side voters,” Anderson said. “There is a lot of development out in that area that will eventually utilize that location as well.”

Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe thinks the placement of the Yarrington location will bring in more voters but still hopes other locations will be looked into.

“(The Yarrington location) is between the boundary of San Marcos and Kyle, so it may be a good option,” Ingalsbe said. “But I know the commission that was formed is looking at voting location sites, so I am hoping they can come up with some other locations.”

Precinct 4 Commissioner Walt Smith said he had concerns about the use of Hays County’s Justice of the Peace Office as a voting location. According to Smith, because the office will need to be closed during voting periods, it will interfere with its operation.

“(The Precinct 4 office) is a traditional location for us, it’s a well used location, the problem we have is that this year alone with three elections our Justice of the Peace Court will be closed for a month and a half,” Smith said.

Smith said he hopes the Citizen Advisory Council will look into other locations within his precinct.

“Our citizens have an expectation of hosting court there and they also have an expectation of voting there. It’s kind of difficult to meet both those needs,” Smith said.

According to Anderson, Dripping Springs is a difficult area to accommodate, one of the reasons being the amount of churches that have denied use of their facility due to conflicting events.

“(The Precinct 4 office) is not an optimal location due to very limited parking and very small accommodations for the volume of voting that takes place there. We are always looking at different options in Dripping Springs,” Anderson said.

The full early voting schedule is available for viewing here.

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