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Survey raises Gregg elections website rating, more improvements coming

By Jimmy Isaac
Sept. 26, 2016 at 11 p.m.

A screen shot of the Gregg County elections website.

The League of Women Voters of Texas announced Monday it has upgraded its rating of Gregg County's elections website, even though the county's previous, undesired rating remains online.

League Executive Administrator Aileen McMurrer said the Gregg County elections website was reviewed Sunday, and League of Women Voters of Texas Vice President Elizabeth Erkel plans to review the website again after more upgrades are completed by Gregg County Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy.

On Friday, the Austin-based, self-described nonpartisan organization admitted it inaccurately reported that Gregg County's online elections information was inadequate because its members couldn't find the county's website. Gregg County scored zero in the League's assessment, but McMurrer said the rating couldn't have been accurate because she herself had no trouble finding Gregg County's elections web page.

After the initial review, Gregg County scored 20 of a possible 30 points, she said. The website scored high marks for having a page with easy-to-find election information and a link to the Secretary of State's website. However, Gregg County scored low marks for having the bare minimum of adequate voter identification information and no link to election information in Spanish.

Nealy said her office always adds, updates and deletes information as needed for its elections web page and that if it receives a call from a voter about election information that might not be on the website, that information is added.

"I will be adding information suggested by the League of Women Voters," Nealy said Monday, "but we have much more additional information on our web page that was not mentioned in this article."

Additional information on Gregg County's web page includes links to maps where early voting stations are located, information for election workers and candidates, and information from the Secretary of State's Office that she believe is important to voters, she said.

McMurrer said, "Nealy has told us that upon receiving the guidance from the League of Women Voters of Texas about best practices, she already has plans to make changes today to improve the Gregg County Election website. Ms. Nealy is responding exactly as we anticipated county election officials responsible for their county election would respond given the review and information about best practices — she is using the information to improve the county's service to its constituents."

The League of Women Voters gave Gregg County's elections website an overall rating of good, but added that it could improve.

The league also gave Panola County's website a rating of inadequate. Upshur County's website was rated fair, and those in Harrison and Rusk counties got good ratings.

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