County Commissioners discuss precinct 15 polling location

Republican Chair Eileen Collins presented the issue with the precinct 15 voting location at the Jan. 4 Cass County Commissioner’s workshop session.
Collins spoke about the church they had used for the past two elections. 
“We can no longer use the church as a voting location, it was abandoned but now it is an active church and they have refused the use of it for voting so we have to find another place to use,” said Collins. 
“The proposal in order to gain a building for voting in precinct 15 is to move commissioner precinct boundary to take in Piney Grove Baptist Church,” said Collins. 
Piney Grove Baptist Church will allow their building to be used for voting but is not currently located in precinct 15 voting area. 
“There are other building but they are not available, the country club would be one but is not available,” said Collins. 
County Clerk Amy Varnell spoke about who she had contacted about this issue to make sure that the lines could be changed to incorporate Piney Grove Baptist Church. 
“I spoke with TAC (Texas Association of Counties), Mrs. Collins spoke to the secretary of state and I talked to Paul Miles at TAC and explained it to him and he said as long as there are no voters that are affected then it could be done,” said Varnell. 
Collins spoke about the possibility of having the voters travel the Douglassville polling location to vote. 
“The only other place that they could vote would be Douglassville and that is a pretty far trip for people who live in precinct 15, the precinct even goes as far as highway 59 and we have looked for buildings to use there,” said Collins. 
“There are no available buildings on highway 59 for use and I even asked the Shaeferss and they didn’t have any room available and it is a business as well,” said Collins. 
Varnell spoke about how many registered voters are in the voting precinct and if they voted early or on Election Day. 
“I got this information from the tax office and that is the voter registrar, there are 489 registered voters in O’Farrell, there are an actual 509 but 20 are on the suspended list, on the Nov. 2016 presidential election 295 people voted early from O’Farrell which means to either Linden or Atlanta, 94 people voted on election day in precinct 15,” said Varnell. 
Commissioner of Precinct 3 Paul Cothren voiced his concerns about redrawing the commissioner precinct lines to include Piney Grove Baptist Church. 
“Is there going to be a legal expense for the county to pay, do we have to involve lawyers to redraw these lines, does this re-drafting effect other districts, so I would be concerned about the legal re-drafting,” said Commissioner Cothren. 
The court decided they will do more research about the issue and will discuss it at the next commissioners court. 

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