Voters who are used to casting ballots at the city’s South Service Center during early voting can do so again this year after all.
Officials with the city and Tarrant County Elections Office have agreed to open that site, which has been used for early voting since 2005, after it was initially decided to switch to the St. Joseph Catholic Church parish hall about a half mile away.
Both sites — the service center at 1100 SW Green Oaks Blvd. and the church at 1927 SW Green Oaks Blvd. — will be open for early voting when it begins April 27, city spokesman Jay Warren said Thursday.
“We have to give a lot of credit to the county for working with us and really kind of thinking outside the box,” he said.
City Council members and leaders of the Arlington branch of the NAACP expressed dismay Tuesday after learning of the original plan to change the early voting sites. The South Service Center had 1,577 early voters in the May 2014 election, making it the fourth-most-popular early voting location in Tarrant County, and 11,432 early voters in the November election, making it the top early voting site in the county.
County Elections Administrator Frank Phillips said Thursday that his staff heard the concerns and continued to brainstorm other options. The new plan calls for some of the extra voting equipment slated for the church to be delivered to the service center. Officially, voting at the service center will show up as occurring at the church, Phillips said, but the county’s voter check-in software will allow officials to differentiate which votes were cast where.
“We’re relieved,” Alisa Simmons, president of the Arlington NAACP branch, said Thursday. “This was the remedy we proposed all along.”
Staff writer Susan Schrock contributed to this report.
Patrick M. Walker, 817-390-7423
Arlington early voting
Voters now have seven locations in which to cast their ballot:
▪ Arlington South Service Center, 1100 SW Green Oaks Blvd.
▪ St. Joseph Catholic Church parish hall, 1927 SW Green Oaks Blvd.
▪ Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center St.
▪ Elzie Odom Recreation Center, 1601 NE Green Oaks Blvd.
▪ Junior League of Arlington Center for Community Service, 4002 W. Pioneer Parkway
▪ Tarrant County Southeast Subcourthouse, 700 E. Abram St.
▪ (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 29- May 1) UT Arlington Maverick Activities Center, 500 W. Nedderman Drive