Proposal to implement a joint primary for 2020 Primary Elections

The Harris County Clerk has a new concept for a joint primary for 2020 Primary Elections.

Harris County Clerk Dr. Diane Trautman said one complaint was long lines, which they've taken care by using three different stations.

"It will involve three different stations, so it will prevent lines from forming at all," said Trautman.

And, gone would be saying your political affiliation to the registrar.

"Before, voters would complain that they had to say out loud which party they were voting in. Now, all they need to do is push a button for Democrat or Republican, so it's complete privacy of party selection now," said Trautman.

Today’s demonstration included (from the clerk’s office):

  • Anonymity of Party Selection: Voters who do not wish to disclose a particular party for which they intent to vote will not be required to do so. They will make the selection on their own from the iPad and it will never be said out loud. This allows the voter to have complete anonymity.
  • Cost Effective: Combing the amount of staff from both parties to run just one polling location allows for fewer clerks needed. This also reduces the amount of party specific staff needed at the locations but at the same time will also increase the number of locations to which staff can be assigned.
  • Non Precinct Specific Locations: The use of Election Day Vote Centers eliminates the problem of voters going to the incorrect polling location. They may go to any location they choose to just as they already do during Early Voting. Regardless of their home precinct they will no longer have to spend hours in a line waiting to cast their ballot. If a location is busy they can check www.harrisvotes.comto find a location with a shorter wait time on their way to their next destination and vote there.
  • Reduce the number of Provisionals: The majority of the provisionals completed on Election Day during a Primary Election are for voters that went to the wrong location due to their registered precinct or party selection. Allowing all registered voters to vote anywhere they choose and make their own party selection will overall reduce the number of provisionals needed.
  • Less Confusion for Voters: Overall, all the above reasons for having a Joint Primary Election will ultimately benefit the voters. Primary Elections are confusing to anyone who doesn’t work in this business but they don’t have to be. Having a Joint Election makes the entire voting process less stressful for the Voters and allows them to perform the most important right they possess, the right to vote!

Tomorrow, the party chairs will go through the process and make their decision next week.

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