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Elections office prepares for primaries Nearly 10,000 early votes have been cast in 2 counties for constitutional amendment election

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Brownsville campus will not be a voting site for Tuesday’s Constitutional Amendment Election due to costs and resource allocation.

Cameron County Elections Administrator Remi Garza told The Rider there are fewer locations available during the Constitutional Amendment Election because voting sites are distributed evenly throughout Cameron County.

Asked why there were fewer voting sites for the election, Garza responded, “During the constitutional election, it’s a matter of cost and resource allocation.”

This election takes place in November on odd-numbered years and voter turnout is normally low. The Texas Legislature proposed amendments in its recent session, ending June 1.

As of last Tuesday, 2,691 early votes had been cast in Cameron County and in Hidalgo County, 6,434 had been cast, 167 from the Edinburg campus polling site, according to each county’s website. Early voting began Oct. 19 and ended last Friday.

Cameron County voters may cast ballots on Election Day at one of 36 polling sites. For a complete list of polling locations, visit www.co.cameron.tx.us/Polling_Locations1.pdf.

While only seven early voting sites were available in Cameron County, The Department of Elections & Voter Registration plans as many as 20 early voting polling locations for next spring’s primary elections.

“We are getting set to decide those voting sites,” Garza said about the primary elections. “Not only the [Brownsville campus] but also the [Texas Southmost College] campus and the [Texas State Technical College System] campus in Harlingen as well, getting the students engaged in the process and making the sites available.”

The last time the Brownsville campus was a voting site was May 9, during the Municipal Election, where the campus community cast 290 of 5,627 votesthroughout the city of Brownsville.

“The surest way to have a voting site on campus is to vote when it’s there,” Garza said. “It really is a use-it-or-lose-it type of situation.”

For more information about voting sites, call the Elections & Voter Registration department at 544-0809 in Cameron County and 544-0830 in Hidalgo County.

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