By Allan Jamail
Houston, Tx. – January 23, 2019 – Diane Trautman Harris County’s newly elected Clerk held her first Election Advisory Committee (EAC) meeting. She hasn’t wasted time in full-filling her campaign pledges of having citizen involvement in her decisions and to make it more convenient for voters to cast their ballots.
To get broad based county-wide citizen involvement Trautman will have seven Election Advisory Committee (EAC) meetings. The meetings will educate and seek input from the minority languages of the county as required under the 1965 and 1975 Voting Rights Act (Section 203). Trautman will include meetings in Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese. She’ll use these EAC meetings to unveil her Countywide Voting Centers Plan and or her Election Day Vote Center (EDVC) plan.
Another of Trautman’s major campaign pledges was to make it easier for voters to vote on Election Day. If her EDVC plan is approved by Harris County’s Commissioners Court, it would make it possible for anyone to vote on Election Day at an Election Day Vote Center (EDVC) at any of Harris County’s 700-plus polling locations. Currently, county residents have multiple options during early voting, but on Election Day, they can only cast a ballot in their home precinct.
Clerk Trautman said, “I witnessed personally at several different polling locations on Election Day voters being turned away because they were confused about where their assigned voting location was or something changed or they just didn’t have the information,” Trautman said. “If you multiply those 700 locations times anywhere from 10 to 100 people being turned away, that’s a lot of disenfranchised voters.”
If Commissioners Court approves the Clerk’s EDVC plan then it must be approved by the Texas Secretary of State (SOS) which Trautman said she’s optimistic it’ll be approved since the SOS has already approved fifty-two other Texas counties that operate Election Day Vote Centers.
Trautman introduced Hector De Leon who serves as Director of Communications and Voter Outreach. De Leon presented historical data in various forms of graphs and charts that dissected the voter turnout data based on nationality and age. He said Election Clerks are needed and anyone desiring in working part-time during an election they need to contact the Election Department at (713) 755-5792. More information about the Clerk’s office can be found at www.harrisvotes.com.