CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – During Tuesday morning’s regular meeting of the Randall County Commissioners’ Court, the court unanimously passed two measures that will impact March’s Primary Election. The court approved the reconfiguration of county election precincts as well as a resolution for a joint primary between the Republican and Democratic parties for March’s primary.
Shannon Lackey, the county’s election administrator, said during the meeting that because of Texas Election Code, and with Randall County residing in both Canyon and Amarillo, two cities having more than 10,000 residents, the county had to add precincts. Per Texas Election Code, voting precincts cannot be partially inside and partially outside a particular city.
“We had to create many more voting precincts to be compliant with the Texas Election Code, which is far more than I anticipated,” Lackey said during the meeting. “But the bottom line, it makes Randall County compliant.”
This measure adds nine more voting precincts within Randall County, causing the county’s elections office to add five more voting centers on Election Day. Lackey said the location of these five centers has not been officially determined.
Because most voters participate in the May election through Early Voting, Lackey said during the meeting that she does not feel that voters are going to see much of a difference. She also does not think the county will need additional equipment and will be able to stretch the equipment they have to the 18 total voting centers.
The main goal is that voters are not going to see a change in the way they vote, Lackey told MyHighPlains.com after the meeting.
“They are still going to be able to utilize our vote center concept,” she said. “On Election Day, they will be able to vote at whatever location works for them. Every vote center will be able to accommodate every voter, whether they want to vote in the Republican primary or the Democratic primary.”
Randall County Judge Christy Dyer said during the meeting that the additional voting centers will ultimately help Randall County residents.
“The most important thing is to make sure that we have easily accessible places to vote and that they can do it without a severe burden,” she said. “By doing this, I’m excited. We will even have more locations for people to vote. They don’t have to wonder and worry ‘where is it this year?’ If you can show up where we have the equipment, you can cast a ballot and we are grateful for that.”
The court also approved a resolution for the upcoming joint primary. This comes after the Republican Party in Potter County recently released changes in their primary, requiring Republicans to vote by hand in a precinct on Election Day throughout the county.
“State law allows for every county in the state of Texas to hold a joint primary and in Randall County, that’s what we have done for years,” Lackey said. “So, I am required to host a meeting with the Republican chair and the Democratic chair. We had a very nice meeting. It was beneficial and it was decided unanimously that we would continue to conduct joint primaries in Randall County. We all feel like it benefits the voter first and foremost, and that’s why we’re here.”
Lackey believes it is important for Randall County to host joint primary elections.
“Personally, I feel like it benefits the voter,” she said. “That’s why we are here, to make a registered voter be able to vote with ease. It also saves the county money. It saves the state money and those are our main goals whenever we conduct an election.”
For a full list of races that will be featured on the 2022 Primary Ballot, visit MyHighPlains.com.