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      Potter County commissioners form committee to consider voting centers

      P otter County Commissioners are forming a committing to help decide whether voting centers would work in their area. The idea comes from a 2005 Texas state bill that approved a pilot program for vote centers across the state. The center would allow all voters, regardless of their precincts, to vote at any polling spot in the county.

      B efore any formal action was taken, county commissioners decided to form a committee to consider the pros and cons of those centers, and how the changes would affect voters.

      "There are always concerns with voting centers," said Potter County Commissioner Mercy Murguia. "You want to make sure that your lines are not long and you have to have enough staff so that we are not waiting out there to vote.

      Knoxie Mathes asked the commissioners for the committee.

      "We didn't want to disenfranchise a voter because of a location that moves to another polling location. So that's something that needs to be looked at."

      S ix counties with a population 100,000 residents qualify for the program in each election. Four smaller counties with populations under a 100,000 residents also qualify in each election. Financing, a full staff, and voting space are already concerns for the commissioners.

      "Somehow we have to get the culture of wanting to vote and the importance of your vote counting out there," said Potter County Commissioner Leon Church. " I think that is more important than changing the location of a polling place. "