Monday, February 19, 2018

Gregg countywide polling OK'd

By Jimmy Daniell Isaac
Dec. 28, 2017 at 11:28 p.m.

County Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy talks about updates made to the voting process during the commissioners court meeting Thursday.

Countywide polling place voting officially is a permanent fixture in Gregg County elections.

State elections regulators approved countywide polling starting with the March 6 primaries, Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy announced Thursday. That means all registered voters in the county can cast ballots at any Gregg County polling place on Election Day.

"We are excited to get that approval," Nealy said. "I hope our voters are excited about it."

Gregg and Upshur counties first used countywide polling places during the November election, but the secretary of state hadn't approved permanent countywide status at that time. Voters previously were required to go to their assigned precinct voting locations in county elections — often frustrating voters who might be closer to certain polling places than their assigned ones.

Upshur received state approval earlier this month.

Gregg County commissioners also approved a schedule for early voting leading up to the March 6 election, which will be a joint primary election under an agreement between the county and chairmen of local Republican and Democratic parties.

Early voting begins Feb. 20 and will take place at the courthouse, Judson, Greggton and Broughton community centers in Longview and Kilgore Community Center. Updates on the March 6 and other elections in the county can be found at or on the county's elections Facebook page, Nealy said.

In other matters, the court reappointed County Fire Marshal Mark Moore to a two-year term and acknowledged a 1 cent raise in the county's standard business mileage reimbursement rate to remain consistent with state reimbursement rates.

And before it adjourned, the court honored a retiring member of its own.

Pct. 4 Commissioner John Mathis was presented a plaque for his years of full-time public service to Gregg County, which began in 1983 as a sheriff's office employee.

Mathis is resigning effective Sunday after 11 years as commissioner, leaving a full year on his unexpired third term.

Three people have filed to run in the March 6 primary for the Pct. 4 seat.

Before accepting the plaque from fellow commissioners, Mathis credited the court with working together through differences of opinion to continue work that benefited the county.

"The name of the game is just helping each other in Gregg County," Mathis said. "That's all we need to do, and I hope we continue to do."



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