Agreement Comes After Pollwatcher Access Was Limited During General Election
AUSTIN – The Travis County GOP has executed a legal agreement with the Travis County elections office that requires improved pollwatcher access for all future elections, starting with the Dec. 15 runoff election.
Travis County election officials had sequestered poll watchers in a separate room with a window to view the activity of the Central Count room. Poll watchers were unable to hear the activities, their questions had to be asked through the glass window whenever the election workers noticed tapping on the glass. Poll watchers were unable to see the computer screens where most of the Central Count activity takes place.
In order to avoid litigation, both parties have agreed to the following:
- Travis County Elections agrees to ensure that all equipment and computer screens in use shall be visible to poll watchers.
- Travis County Elections agrees to allow poll watchers inside the tabulation area of the central count station, including the ability to stand conveniently near election officers. Previously they had been denied this right.
- While there are to be no physical barriers shall be placed between poll workers and poll watchers, a six-foot boundary around the election stations will be marked on the floor. Poll watchers may pass this boundary and approach the poll workers stations to observe a screen or note any irregularity, but then have agreed to step back behind the boundary.
- All the agreements above do apply to the December 15 Runoff Election and have been agreed upon by all parties.
“This is a good agreement that will protect that rights of legally appointed pollwatchers in all future elections in Travis County,” said TCRP chairman Matt Mackowiak. “This election cycle, we did not think our poll watchers had enough access to observe the process and perform their duties. We have worked with Travis County to solve that problem going forward. We appreciate not only the dedication of fellow Relator Martin Harry and the entire Republican Party of Texas Legal team for their work in resolving the substantive issues raised but want to thank Dana DeBeauvoir and the Travis County Elections legal team for their hard work in coming to this agreement.”
The Travis County Republican Party supports the conservative principles of the Republican Party and elects candidates up and down the ballot in the greater Austin metro area. For more information visit www.TravisGOP.com.
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Attachment: Agreement (PDF)