Smith County residents will be able to weigh in on the effectiveness of a new voting system at two public hearings on Tuesday.

The hearings are part of the formal process for the county to get approval from the Texas Secretary of State to permanently use a countywide vote system, which allows voters to cast ballots at any designated center on Election Day, rather than at their designated precinct polling location.

Smith County will host morning and evening hearings on Tuesday.

The morning hearing will be in conjunction with the weekly Commissioners Court meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Smith County Courthouse Annex building, 200 E. Ferguson St. The second will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Smith County Elections Office, 302 E Ferguson St.

In September, the state approved Smith County to test the countywide voting concept, which allows residents to vote at 34 different polling locations. The county tested the model recently, when residents voted in the constitutional amendments election on Nov. 3.

Elections Administrator Karen Nelson said she wants to get the paperwork back to the state as soon as possible for approval, so the office and the political parties can focus on the March primary.


In addition to the hearing during Tuesday mornings meeting, the Smith County Commissioners Court will consider selling a portion of property at 11325 Spur 248 to the Texas Department of Transportation. 

According to the posted agenda, commissioners also will look at transportation issues, including reviewing the rural transit system and discussing solutions to fill service gaps.

Also up for consideration are bids for road materials, including drainage culverts, road oil, asphalt and surface treatment materials. Commissioners may approve soliciting bids for materials.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph will attend the meeting. For updates as they happen, follow @TMTFaith on Twitter.



Voters can give feedback on the new county wide voting centers during public hearings set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, in the Smith County Courthouse Annex building, 200 E. Ferguson St., and a second at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, in the Smith County Elections Office, 302 E. Ferguson St.

Digital Content Manager

Faith Harper is an East Texas native working for her hometown newspaper. She specializes in digital content for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In her spare time, she loves tacos, road trips and is currently learning to sail.

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