Brazos County received proof today that not all federal mandates are unfunded.
The county was reimbursed for every cent it spent on new voting machines to the tune of almost 2 million dollars.
County officials have 1 point 8 reasons to smile.
"That's exactly why I'm smiling. I like when the federal government, the state say you're going to get your money back, they deliver," says Brazos County Judge Randy Sims.
The county spent close to 2 million dollars on replacing the old punch card voting system with electronic voting machines.
It's the first county in the state to comply fully with the Help America Vote Act, that requires at least one electronic voting machine in every precinct in America by January 2006.
"They actually did what they needed to do before they needed to do it and really set the mark for all the other counties in Texas," says Secretary of State Roger Williams.
Brazos County is just one stop for Secretary Williams.
Williams has begun a statewide listening tour to help counties comply with the new regulations.
"It helps us when we go talk to the other counties and tell them what opportunities are available to them. Brazos County is a prime example," says Secretary Williams.
And the county doesn't mind that at all. In fact, it was the goal.
"As we continue to grow and have more and more voters and more and more elections...I thought let's just be at the forefront," says Judge Sims.
The county says the money was an unexpected reward for getting things done and hope future mandates will pay off.
The voting machines will still be leased out to Bryan and College Station for a small fee that goes toward up keep.
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