Dallas County voters soon could be able to cast ballots at any poll on Election Day – and we’re all for it

These are the kinds of programs newly-appointed Secretary of State Ruth Ruggero Hughs should be keenly focused on. Fair elections that give eligible voters more access to participate in the process should be the top priority for the state’s top election official. We no longer can afford the partisan shenanigans such as the botched citizenship investigation that cast doubt on the integrity of the process.

Toni Pippins-Poole, Dallas County’s election administrator, sees using the countywide centers in the relatively low-key upcoming November election as a good trial run for the presidential election in 2020 when there will be thousands more voters. It will give her office a chance to track the busiest spots for voters and adjust staffing and equipment accordingly.

She knows business centers and hospitals are potential hotspots, but there could be many others and she’s smart to be prepared so voters won’t have to face long lines.

Count us in. We’re all for anything that can make it less confusing and encourage more eligible voters to cast ballots.

It should be an embarrassment to us all that fewer than 10 % of Dallas County’s 1,365,315 registered voters cast ballots in the May elections. And that was an improvement over the 2015 mayoral race when only 6 % of voters the Dallas mayor’s race. One election study put Dallas dead last out of the nation’s 50 largest cities in mayor race turnout.

We still believe there’s merit in moving municipal elections to November and the state should evaluate whether automatic voter registration could encourage more voters.

Until then, there’s great promise in the countywide voting centers to improve things. Texas needs to make this happen for Dallas County now.

Of course, it ultimately still is on us to leave our sofas to choose our leaders and provide input on issues that matter. The health of our democracy depends on it.