AUSTIN, Texas - The Travis County Republican Party says it has reached a legal agreement with the Travis County elections office that will require improved poll watcher access for all future elections.
The agreement goes into effect starting with the December 15 runoff election.
According to the Travis County GOP, election officials had sequestered poll watchers in a separate room with a window to view the activity of the Central Count room. Due to this, they say poll watchers were unable to hear the activities and their questions had to be asked through the glass window whenever the election workers noticed tapping on the glass. Poll watchers were also unable to see the computer screens where most of the Central Count activity takes place.
The Travis County GOP says that 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.