Katy Independent School District board of trustee elections will proceed as scheduled, but at additional cost due to changes in electoral regulations. Katy ISD will attempt to rent voting equipment from Election Systems & Software (ESS) for next year’s elections at a cost of $51,463.
“When I look at the options (not including changing election schedules) … (leasing from ESS) makes the most sense,” trustee Neal Howard said. “We get a combination of e-slate and paper ballots, and we don’t have to maintain or store any equipment.”
Although trustees could not take action on a discussion item, they agreed to make it an actionable item during a Nov. 1 teambuilding work shop. Board members feel the need to move quickly because ESS offers the equipment on a first-come, first-serve basis, and are currently experiencing a large influx of potential customers as a result of recent changes to election laws.
“My concern is do we want to wait another month,” trustee Bill Proctor said, “and is somebody going to beat us to the machines if we want to do that?”
With the passage of Senate Bill 100, which allows the state to implement 2009’s Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, dates for primary runoff elections are now being held in late May, which means Harris and Fort Bend Counties cannot field enough voting equipment for limited uniform elections and hold state elections.
Trustees have been looking at options for the 2012 board of trustee elections in light of the changes to the law. To continue using county voting equipment the district would need to change election cycles to November of even years, every odd year in May, or a combination of the two options.