With about 2 weeks gone since the Election, the final returns have been canvassed in Grimes County, and it was a record turnout.
Speaking during the special meeting for Commissioner’s Court last Friday, Elections Administrator Lucy Ybarra said the returns this year surpassed the 2016 election.
“That one (2016) was just a little over 9,000 people, this one (2020) was over 12,000. We actually saw over 9,000 in just early voting, so a really good turnout this time,” said Ybarra.
Ybarra said that the feedback on the new voting machines was very positive, minus a couple of comments. They had little issues, with just one polling location going down for about an hour on election day.
She also pointed out there were 4 total curbside votes submitted on election day, and that was actually the one downfall of their new equipment.
“it is a little more cumbersome than what we thought. There is a lot of work…hauling the suitcase, and entire machine out. So, we may be looking at finding some additional support for buying a curbside machine in the next year or two,” said Ybarra.
Now, there was some push back from the public on the number of polling locations going from 15 to 10 this year. But, she says there was a reason, and that was making sure their polls were fully staffed to service the people.
“For the most part, once people got used to it, understood why and that we were not permanently closing locations, we were just trying to fully staff and better utilize the money, most everyone was happy,” said Ybarra. “We did not have a problem with dead times in one location, and a struggle in another with them seeing tons of people. Our elections judges were talking to each other…having 10 locations open, and spreading them out in the county, worked really well.”
She also added that about 69 percent of registered voters here in Grimes County came out to vote.
For questions, or more information, contact the elections administrator’s office at 936-873-4422.