Potter County Republicans will see a major change to their election system when they vote in next year’s primary election in Amarillo.

Last week, Potter County Republican Party chairman Dan Rogers announced that he had informed Potter County Elections Administrator Melynn Huntley that the party will conduct its 2022 primary election using hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballots. As a direct result, Potter County Republicans have also decided to break away from the countywide voting center system utilized in Potter County; instead, voters will vote at their individual precincts’ polling places on Election Day.

Rogers said the decision was made by the Potter County Republican Executive Committee after expressing concerns about election integrity when using the Hart InterCivic Verity machines currently used in the county.

“There [are] a lot of concerns that voters have whether or not their votes [are] being properly counted with the electronic machines that are being used,” Rogers told KVII-TV in Amarillo.

Despite the effort by Potter County Republicans to conduct what they view as an election with greater election integrity, county officials in Potter are still opposed to Rogers’ announcement. In an interview with The New York Times, Huntley told reporters that she is “concerned whether [the Potter County Republican Party’s voting system] can function with high integrity.” Still, officials have no legal authority to deny the local party its right to conduct its primary election using paper ballots.

With the change now in the works, voters can expect that they date they vote will impact what type of ballot they will see at their polling place. Under the change for 2022, Republican primary voters in Potter County may cast a ballot at any early voting polling place using the electronic voting machines. If voters wait until Election Day, however, or if they would prefer to vote on a paper ballot, they must vote at their individual precinct polling places using the hand-marked, hand-counted ballots.

Early voting will begin on February 14, 2022, and will through February 25, 2022. Election Day is scheduled for March 1, 2022.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.


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