Making NRG Arena the 2020 election headquarters

Sounds like a good idea.

Chris Hollins

Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins is seeking permission from Commissioners Court to use NRG Arena as a headquarters for the fall presidential election, converting the expansive space for voting, ballot counting and a call center.

The proposal would use $5.1 million of the $12 million former county clerk Diane Trautman secured to run elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agenda item submitted by Hollins for Tuesday’s meeting states the clerk’s office plans to transfer all of its elections operations to Hall D of the arena. The 100,000-square-foot space would be used for walk-in voting, drive-through voting, a call center, ballot by mail operations, the county’s vote-counting operation and include a space for administrative personnel and equipment storage.

Hollins said the clerk’s office downtown is too small for elections staff to socially distance, and using a facility already owned by the county was a logical solution to that problem.

“It’s all about spacing. What we have on the fourth floor of 1001 Preston, we physically cannot fit while following social distancing guidelines,” Hollins said. “We need to move, just to be able to run our election operation at full staff.”

The polling place at the arena may be one of the largest the county operates, he said.

In a letter to court members, Hollins said the cost includes expenses for laptops needed for the ballot by mail, call center and administrative staff operations, as well as other IT needs.

This makes sense. As the story notes, the arena isn’t being used for anything else at this time, so scheduling is not an issue. This would also serve well as a mail ballot drop-off location, which is allowed during the extended early voting period. The arena is accessible by mass transit (the Red Line and the Kirby bus line, for sure) and is close to a lot of residences and businesses, including part of the Medical Center. Honestly, I can’t think of a good reason not to do this.

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7 Responses to Making NRG Arena the 2020 election headquarters

  1. Ronald Wilson says:

    He is a making a good effort to be the first Elections Administrator for Harris County!!

  2. Andrew Lynch says:

    we have designated election sites, why waste millions of dollars for a place that might get little election traffic.

  3. Ross says:

    Because they need the space for processing election returns that is large enough for social distancing. Adding voting machines there is minimal extra cost.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    It’s weird how people can line up and pack church pews to mourn the passing of John Lewis, and that’s perfectly safe, but they can’t line up to vote in person. Weird. Maybe each voting center should have shrines for John Lewis and George Kirby located prominently, to confer protection from the virus on voters? I say that, because gathering in their names seems to be about the safest activity people can do these days.

  5. brad says:


    Please go back and read the article closely before commenting.

  6. brad says:


    Good point…they should be absentee mourning.

    Oh, I forgot…that would result in fraudulent and inaccurate grief.

  7. Manny says:

    Bill when will you quit your nonsense, the piece of manure you worship knows he is losing. Aren’t you tired of seeing him pout. As to voting by mail, it is all bs by the piece of manure and the little stinks that keep repeating what trump says;

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