By Elsa Maxey
Inquiry by the Fort Bend County Commissioner’s Court to the county’s elections administrator shows that some early voting sites for the upcoming May 29 primary election are changed this go round.
Before taking action to approve the locations and the hours of early voting for the primary election, the county’s Elections Administrator John Oldham said of the sites, “they vary because of the multiple changes to the primary date change.”
After the March 6 scheduled date for the Texas primary for the partisan elections, an April date was also speculated, but it was postponed to May 29. The delays were the result of issues raised and decided at the federal level relating to the congressional redrawn lines. But that’s all been resolved. Nonetheless, this caused the primary election date to be pushed down almost three months.
Of the changing locations, Oldham told Fort Bend commissioners that Pecan Grove Baptist Church will not be one of the early voting sites. Instead, he said of the replacement site, “it’s going across the street…to Randalls,” which is across FM 359. Oldham also said there are changes to commissioners’ precincts, but not by much. “We are also adding back in Randalls at New Territory,” he told county officials. This Randalls location was a site used in the November 2010 elections “pretty successfully,” according to Oldham, “but we really hadn’t had a need since, so they graciously agreed to let us come back.”
Another site change is the library at Cinco Ranch, last used about a year and a half ago, noted Oldham, who also said “it’s been unavailable since then.” Harmony Science Academy across the street from Precinct 3 will be the location used for early voting instead of the library. Also, Aliana Club House, formerly used as a voting site, is no longer available. Its replacement is the Four Corners Community Center, two miles east, “right down West Belfort,” said one of the commissioners.
Commissioner James Patterson expressed the court’s appreciation to Oldham for his calm during this year’s distress referring to congressional line challenge hold ups and probably other related unknowns. “I’ll take the compliment,” said Oldham, but “how do you now I’ve been calm,” he asked causing some audience chuckle. Patterson said he was going by “the duck theory, smooth on top.”
Currently, Fort Bend County is running two elections. At this time, early voting which ends May 8 is underway for the May 12 city, school and MUD elections. Early voting for the primary election in Fort Bend County will run from May 14 – 25. During early voting, registered voters may vote at any Fort Bend County voting location.