BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Registered voters will be able to cast their ballots at any of the polling locations in Bowie County in the November election if the Texas Secretary of State approves a request made Monday by the county commission and elections administrator.

A county judge approved the resolution on July 11 asking the state to allow Bowie County to participate in the state’s Countywide Polling Places and Countywide Polling Place Program for the upcoming Nov. 8 gubernatorial election.

“Countywide voting makes voting more convenient, potentially increases voter turnout, and prevents eligible voters from being turned away or given a provisional ballot because the voter is in the wrong voting precinct on election day,” said Bowie County Elections Administrator Pat McCoy.

If implemented, there will be 22 vote centers located strategically throughout the county, allowing registered voters to vote at any location between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

A list of locations formally approved by the commissioners will be published after the state has approved the request.

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Texas counties have the option to request countywide voting under state law establishing rules for eligibility that include direct electronic voting systems or ballot marking devices or hand-marked scannable paper ballots that are printed and scanned at the polling place. Eligible counties also have to use a computerized voter registration list that allows instantaneous verification that a voter has not already voted at another polling place.

Bowie County Commissioners have discussed joining this program for nearly two years. Now county officials have the necessary equipment and technology to provide a smooth countywide voting process.

Commissioners say they are confident that the Secretary of State will allow Bowie County to join more than 70 counties statewide that utilize countywide voting, including Marion and Harrison.

The Secretary of State has to approve proposed local plans for the program by August 31.

For more information on the program or Bowie County Elections, call 903.628.6810 or visit www.co.bowie.tx.us/page/bowie.Elections.