The Austin City Council moved unanimously at their meeting Monday evening to consolidate all polling locations for in-person voting in the city for the August primary and November general election into one location at the Holiday Inn Austin Conference Center.
The decision was made after the Legislature recently changed election laws to remove schools and nursing homes as polling locations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The change resulted in four regular polling locations in Austin becoming ineligible.
The council”s decision was also based upon concerns about the availability of election judges, as Austin City Clerk Ann Kasel stated to the council at the meeting that only 25% of her regular election judges would be willing to work due to the pandemic.
While the State is encouraging voters to vote absentee, Kasel stated that the Holiday Inn Conference Center would provide adequate space to maintain social distancing, and she indicated to the council that hand sanitizer and masks will be provided to election judges and plexiglass barriers have been ordered with funds appropriated by the Legislature for that purpose.