Voting precinct consolidation passes - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Voting precinct consolidation passes

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The place where you usually cast your vote in Muscogee County could be changing. The Board of Elections has been discussing a consolidation plan for a few months now, and today they made a final decision.

It's an issue that has the community buzzing -- the consolidation of 48 voting precincts in Muscogee County down to 28.

In a three to one vote, the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registrations voted to approve the voting precinct changes.

Chairman of the Board Margaret Jenkins told News Leader Nine, "By studying the precincts and see what's best, trying to save money, technology... Those are the things that went into it."

The board allowed the public to comment on the changes before the vote was held.

"Those who understand voting are already on board. They may have a few concerns but most are already on board," said Jenkins.

And residents were not afraid to voice their opposition with consolidating 48 precincts down to 28.

Jeanne Dugas spoke up about her concerns, "They did not hear some very significant points that were made at February's board meeting, last week's town hall or today. I'm very disappointed with the board's decision today."

But several people supported the change if it means saving more than $125,000 and increasing security at schools by removing polls.

"If you don't want to go to the precinct, vote by mail because you have 45 days to do it. I'm pleased with money savings and the safety with not using the schools, bring to the precincts," explained Jerry Luquire.

Jenkins said the consolidation is expected to take effect before the July 20th primary election, "After this is over you will find out that people are going to quiet down, go to the polls, vote like they have voted, and it'll be over."

The Board of Elections and Registrations will submit this new plan to the U.S. Department of Justice for their final review. Then over the next few months the consolidation of these precincts will take place.


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