A commissioner in Bexar County has penned a letter to the county judge detailing some of the preparations needed to vote safely in November.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Justin Rodriguez said the San Antonio area county should hire additional election workers, provide PPE to all poll workers, and send vote-by-mail applications to all eligible voters above the age of 65.
In addition, Rodriguez said the county should make elections more accessible during the pandemic, including increased voting ours during early voting, increase curbside voting machines, and set up a mega voting center at a local stadium.
“We must take appropriate, proactive action to protect our voting system and ensure all eligible voters can vote safely and securely in the November 2020 general elections,” Rodriguez said in a prepared statement.
In the July primary runoff elections, Bexar County officials already took steps to strengthen social distancing measures and better protect voters and poll workers. Despite that, Bexar was one of two major counties that had to cut polling locations as election workers called it quits over COVID-19 concerns.
Election officials in other Texas counties, like Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, have also taken steps to protect voters, including finger covers, floor markings for social distancing, and hand sanitizer before and after voting. Officials in Travis County reportedly spent $1 million in COVID-19 response and materials during the July election.
The challenges will be even greater in November when the number of Texans who cast their ballot will easily exceed turnout during the primary runoffs.
Last month, Gov. Greg Abbott extended the early voting period for the general election, making October 13, 2020, the official start of the early voting period.
Photo: Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com