MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - For years, Midland County has struggled with getting people to show up for jury duty.
"I would print 1,000 jury summons and send them out per week. We were receiving about a 17.2 to 17.8 return rate," said District Clerk, Ross Bush.
With such low return rates, this was costing the Midland taxpayers money and leaving judges with no jurors. The district clerk knew he needed to find a way to fix our jury system.
"The County Judge and Commissioners were very good to my office and to me and they said "go find something that works." So I did my research, I went around Texas to other counties," said Bush.
After a lot of research, Bush found a system out of Tyler, Texas, that he thought would be a good fit for Midland County.
"This system is customizable to your county so I told them I wanted the Cadillac package. I wanted it to do everything," said Bush.
With this system, you can do everything online. You receive a postcard in the mail with a juror ID number and are asked to login and fill out the questionnaire. Once you fill that out, you are permanently in the County's jury pool system.
"This system has paid for itself already. I now print out 350 summons per week is all. We're having a 92.6 to 92.8 return on all of our jury summons," said Bush.
Not only is this system saving you from having to go to the courthouse, it also sends you a text or email reminding you to show up for jury duty.
"The good thing about this is, a lot of people even now, say, "I forgot all about jury service but I got a text," said Bush.
Bush says this new system is a success for Midland County and our jury system.
"I'm confident now that every Monday morning, I will have enough jurors or excess jurors and we get to take care of the judicial process in Midland."