Voter education and outreach efforts are essential for ensuring that citizens have the information they need to make informed decisions when it comes to voting. In Bexar County, Texas, these efforts have been taken to the next level, with a variety of initiatives designed to make voting easier and more accessible for all. From expanding language services to implementing process reforms, county officials have worked hard to ensure that voters have the resources they need to cast their ballots. Event coordination, branding, creative material design, marketing, paid advertising, and social and traditional media strategy are all important tools for getting the word out about voting.
For instance, in Harris County, local providers were enlisted to expand language services available to voters. Orange County also played a critical role in determining the most effective procedures for prioritizing the health and safety of both staff and voters during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ingham County, Secretary Byram has been unwavering in her commitment to serving voters. This includes more than 300 voters in El Paso County who had initially requested absentee ballots but voted in person, as well as several who turned in their ballots at polling centers.
Data from the county shows that hundreds of other voters canceled their mail-in ballots and chose to vote in person. Kelley is seen as an experienced administrator as well as an expert in implementing process reforms that benefit both poll workers and voters. Nevarez's work has also been instrumental in instituting voter-centered reforms for Los Angeles County. Mail-in voters are often those who find it difficult or impossible to vote in person or who live too far away from the county elections office.
Winn was contacted by an acquaintance who worked in the Bexar County Clerk's office soon after starting his job search. This was during a voter education crisis due to the rapid time between when the law was enacted and when requests to vote began at the start of the year. The legislation authorized a local option for a voting model that would allow citizens to choose how and when to vote in a way that best suits them; a fundamental principle of the VSAP initiative. In Harris County, relationships with community leaders were used to establish procedures that would protect both poll workers and voters. Surveys conducted among voting center staff, customer service agents, and voters show a high level of satisfaction with these reforms in Orange County.
Rejection rates range from 6% to nearly 22% in Bexar County, where nearly 4,000 of the more than 18,000 people who returned their ballots by mail had their votes rejected. Houston's diversity posed a new challenge for Winn when he moved there from Bexar and Travis counties. Signage, electronic voter registration, and the layout of voting centers are kept constant and are reflected in the maps provided to voters in the information guides before they arrive at the polls. The efforts made by county officials across Texas have been instrumental in ensuring that citizens have access to accurate information about voting procedures and can make informed decisions when it comes time to cast their ballots. By expanding language services, implementing process reforms, and providing resources such as maps and information guides, county officials have worked hard to ensure that all citizens have access to the resources they need to make their voices heard.