Brown County Commissioners Court members heard Monday from Elections Administrator Larry Franks, who was on the agenda for several matters including calling the Nov. 5 special election to approve or disapprove amendments to the Texas Constitution.
Ten constitutional amendments will be on the ballot, Franks said.
Commissioners also approved Franks’ request to appoint election judges. Franks went on to tell commission more judges are needed, especially on the Democrat side.
“There are three precincts, I believe, where I don’t have any judges at all and I don’t have any backups,” Franks said. “If anybody wants to become an election judge, call 646-4333.”
Election judges will continue being paid $10 an hour for the November election, but pay next year will go to $12 an hour, Franks said.
In other election-related matters, Franks asked commissioners to consider creating a sinking fund and putting money into it each year toward the replacement of the voting machines. Franks said he’d like to see them replaced by the 2028 presidential election, citing age the existing machines will be by that year.
“The new equipment is going to be expensive,” Franks said. “It’s going to be $600,000 or $700,000.”
If new machines are purchased, Franks said, they will have touch screens and be more user friendly than the current machines.
Franks also said he would like to replace pollbooks — machines used for voter check-in at polls — by the end of the year. The existing pollbooks are based on Windows 7, which Microsoft will no longer support after Dec. 31, Franks said.
Twenty-one pollbooks— 18 for precincts, two for early voting and one for backup — could be bought for about $25,000, Franks told commissioners. Franks said he has $23,000 in his contract fund.