Monday, February 19, 2018

Upshur finalizes countywide voting

By Glenn Evans
Dec. 29, 2017 at 11 p.m.

GILMER — Upshur County commissioners took the final step on Friday to allow Election Day voting at any county poll beginning with the March 6 party primaries.

"You can go to any polling location regardless of your home precinct and vote — on Election Day only," Elections Administrator Lory Harle told commissioners as they voted to accept the polling change.

"If they're closer to Longview, and they want to stop at East Mountain and vote, that gives them the option to vote anywhere (in the county)."

Harle submitted her application for the change in June, and voters tried out the convenient protocol during the November constitutional amendment election.

"They love it," she said of voters. "It's great."

Approval by the secretary of state's election division, which Harle announced earlier this month, allowed the court to install the new system permanently.

The action by Upshur commissioners comes one day after their counterparts in Gregg County took similar action.

The court in Gilmer also approved 16 polling sites for the primary and set times for early voting.

In other action Friday, commissioners bought the costlier of two bids for a shredder in the tax office.

Bids were $1,629 and $1,898, and County Judge Dean Fowler said the higher priced unit could handle more volume.

Commissioners also formally accepted $266,919 in grazing lease payment for land the county owns in Throckmorton and Baylor counties. The North Central Texas land is a remnant of property the Legislature gave each county in the 1800s to support public education.

The court earlier this month approved distribution of the funds, from this past year's payment, to nine public schools in the county based on the number of Upshur students in each.

The lease payment from Calthan Cattle Co. wasn't due until June.

"But he's paying this ahead of time, probably to get it on his tax return," Fowler said. "I'll take the advance."



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