Elections Dept. mails out notices; Some precinct boundaries changed

The Cameron County Elections Department is sending out additional notices to registered voters regarding changes to voting precinct boundaries.

Possible changes to individual voters include precinct boundary changes, jurisdictional alignments, new precinct numbers and the consolidation of certain precincts, said Remi Garza, administrator of the Cameron County Department of Elections and Voter Registration.

The notices state: “This is a notification that your voting precinct has changed due to redistricting and changes to county voting precincts. Due to this change, a new voter registration certificate has been mailed to you with your new precinct number. Please visit our website at cameronvotes.com to see these changes and polling locations for upcoming elections.”

Of the 226,684 registered voters in Cameron County, Garza said 37,340 voters were affected in some way. The notices will be mailed out on Thursday.

“Some are boundary changes where we actually adjusted the boundaries like in Harlingen where we were able to eliminate the unincorporated areas out of Precinct 29 and move them into Precinct 85, and move the incorporated areas out of 85 and into the adjoining precincts. It really wasn’t changing where people were voting per se,” Garza said.

In other words, what the elections department did was combined voting precincts into the same polling location.

This is a process the county goes through every 10 years, and occasionally when precincts get overpopulated adjustments need to be made.

“We tried to keep everybody voting at the same polling location and in most elections they will do that,” Garza said.

“There is what they call hard lines where you can’t split a precinct and that’s the state rep lines, the county commissioner lines and the justices of the peace, county constable lines where in San Benito we were forced to create two new precincts,” Garza said.

Elections Administrator points to a reference map his office has made of the polling locations for Harlingen’s newly adopted district map Wednesday at the Cameron County Department of Elections & Voter Registration in Brownsville. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

Garza said the changes mainly affect the Harlingen and San Benito areas, where there will be different state representatives representing them. “The boundary lines just cut through Harlingen and through San Benito pretty significantly,” he said.

Garza urges everyone to review their new voter registration cards — which are blue in color — and compare it their old ones which are orange to see what changes have been made.

Anyone needing additional information can contact the Cameron County Elections Office at (956) 544-0809.

Early voting for the March 1 primary election begins on Monday, Feb. 14.