Grimes County Commissioners Court held a Special Meeting Monday, Nov. 15, and approved the 2021 November General Election Constitutional Amendments results 3-0. Commissioners Chad Mallett and Barbara Walker were absent.
Before voting, Elections Administrator Lucy Ybarra presented commissioners with a Countywide Polling Place Report followed by a verbal recap. According to Ybarra, of Grimes County’s total voting population of 18,322, only 1,587 or 8%, turned out to vote at any of the 10 polling places during early voting or on Election Day. Compared to the 2019 Constitutional Amendment Election, voter turnout was down from 15.64%.
While the number of registered voters increased from 14,128 in 2019, to 18,238 in 2020, and to 18,322 in 2021, Ybarra said, the consensus among her Election Administrator peers was that voters were “really tired of elections, worn-out, have a bad taste in their mouth from last year.”
Ybarra reported 12 provisional and seven late ballots received countywide and all were resolved by the Early Voting Ballot Board.
Regarding the cost of elections, Ybarra said, “Election costs tend to be higher in ballot production and in staffing. Our staffing was a little over $11,000 for this election. That’s about on par. For every location, you’ve got to have a minimal of three staff for Election Day, and for early voting that’s two weeks of three staff per day. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to avoid that.”
She continued, “Overall, the election cost us $20,248.30. That breaks down to each vote costing $9.95 per vote. That’s extremely high.”
No Redistricting Action
No action was taken on agenda item 3 related to approval of county redistricting maps since commissioner precinct lines were approved at the Nov. 10 Special Meeting.
Regarding the voting precinct lines, Ybarra told The Examiner that she and 9-1-1- Coordinator Kat Lee are reviewing the demographics and they’ll be meeting with both the Democrat and Republican Party chairs and the commissioners soon.
The proposed voting precinct lines will also be published in the paper several times before commissioners take action at the Dec. 15 meeting.