Bell County has an elections administrator for the first time since 2020

May 18, 2022 in International

It has been close to one-and-a-half years since someone was solely in charge of elections in one of Central Texas’ most heavily populated counties.

That changed Tuesday after Desi Roberts was appointed Bell County’s new elections administrator. Since 2020, that county’s tax assessor has filled in on an interim basis.

“The citizens demand elections to be transparent, fierce, secure, safe,” said Roberts after his appointment.

He is setting some pretty high standards for the office going forward, even using the word “perfect” for describing how he wants things to work.

He is a native of the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and is a combat veteran who retired from the service in 2015. He has since worked with the Department of Defense.

“I wanted to come back to where I spent 20 years, living and working to serve the community,” said Roberts.

With service in mind, there is a lot to work on, especially with new election laws in place.

As previously reported by KWTX, the county rejected 412 mail-in ballots during the March primary.

“The laws were new to everyone,” said Roberts.

So to help the public, he is weighing the idea of hosting monthly sessions to inform voters about new voting laws.

He also said he wants to try to get people interested in voting again.

“Realizing that elections need participation,” said Roberts.

Data from the county shows in March nearly 14% of registered voters cast a ballot. That dropped to nearly 9% during the May election.

“Yes, we got to remind people what voting is,” said Roberts.

His official start date is June 1, so he will not be in charge during Tuesday’s runoff election. However, he intends to shadow as work goes on that Tuesday night.

“Let’s make elections about us, the people,” said Roberts. “And making decisions that would affect generations down the road.”