Senior District Judge Donna Rayes speaks during Countywide Voting Hearing



Prominent Agenda Item during Commissioners’ Court meeting, Monday, July 8, was concerning Countywide Voting.

Among those attending the meeting were Julie Hilberg, County Democratic Chairperson; Marian Knowlton, County Republican Chairperson and Caroline George, Chairperson, Brush Country Republican Women.

They all spoke during the meeting with comments regarding the desire to not have Countywide Voting and statements supporting the issue of Countywide Voting.

Others who spoke during that agenda item at Commissioners’ Court were Senior District Judge Donna Rayes; Rosa Elkins, Tom Johnson, Gail Johnson, Atascosa County Judge Bob Hurley, Stuart Knowlton, Commissioner Pct. 2 and Mark Gillespie, Commissioner Pct. 1.

Senior District Judge Donna Rayes took the podium first, giving her comments regarding Countywide Voting, both con and pro. She asked for a further Public Hearing to address the issue.

“Good morning Judge Hurley, good morning commissioners,” said Rayes. She continued, “I’m sure everyone here on this court and in the audience has comments about the Countywide Voting process.” She went on to question the applications to the state regarding Countywide Voting. “I haven’t seen an application.” She wanted to know if an application had been sent in to the state. “Included in that application is requirements for the methodology” for determining the procedure to proceed on the issue.

“I can’t say whether I’m for it or against it,” said Rayes.

Rayes mentioned different reasons why an application would be necessary for citizens to be able to understand and decide whether it would be beneficial to them or not.

“I would just ask that the Commissioners’ Court takes care in making a decision,” said Rayes.

“I’m sure there is a proper procedure that is called for in the election code,” said Rayes.

During Senior District Judge Donna Rayes comments at the podium, County Judge Bob Hurley mentioned the meetings he had with different organizations and municipalities regarding Countywide Voting.

“It sounds like you have the methodology and I would just like to see it…I don’t doubt what you are telling me but I do know that the conversation we have in here is not necessarily the same as complying with what’s needed,” said Rayes.

Judge Hurley again mentioned all the efforts that had been made to convey the message to the people.

“I don’t doubt anything that you are saying and I appreciate all your efforts. I just want to make sure that the proper process is followed to avoid any issues…I just want to make sure that we follow the election code and everyone knows that,” said Rayes.

Judge Hurley thanked Senior District Judge Donna Rayes for her comments.

Atascosa County is applying to the Texas Secretary of State to have Countywide Voting. If approved, this could possibly change some of the polling locations that are being used by Atascosa County cities, schools, etc. This will mean that Atascosa County voters can go to any open polling location they want to and not have to wonder which polling location to go to.

The County of Atascosa will be holding an open Public Hearing on Countywide Voting. It will be held at the Atascosa County Courthouse on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the County Courtroom, suite 203.

Commissioners’ Court welcomes anyone that would like to attend.

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