04/26/04 — Elections Board moves three precincts

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Elections Board moves three precincts

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on April 26, 2004 2:00 PM

Wayne County has relocated three polling places, effective for this year's primary and general elections.

The Board of Elections decided last week to move these polling places:

*Precinct 2 -- from Mt. Nelson Church in Eureka to Eureka United Methodist Church.

*Precinct 11 -- from Wayne Country Day School to Greenleaf Christian Church.

*Precinct 29 -- from Edgewood School to the Wayne County Public Library.

The new polling places will have to be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice for compliance with federal voting laws, but county officials expect to use them in the July 20 primary.

The Board of Elections is also planning to make repairs and improvements to other polling places, such as adding ramps and signs.

The changes are intended to improve access for senior citizens, people with handicaps and others with restricted mobility, Elections Director Gary Sims said Friday.

Sims and Brant Brown, the county's building and grounds supervisor, recently reviewed all 30 county polling places for compliance with the federal Help America Vote Act. They were looking at such issues as parking and access

They concluded that two changes were needed, Sims said.

The polling place at Wayne Country Day was too far from the parking lot for senior citizens to navigate easily, he said. And the school had a scheduling conflict with the July 20 primary election.

Similarly, the parking lot at Edgewood School is at the other end of the school from where voting took place, Sims said.

In contrast, Mt. Nelson Church has been an excellent polling place, Sims said. But the church has recently gone through a reorganization and has not been able to give the county a commitment to continue to allow voting there, he added.

The three new polling places all have good parking and access, he said.

Greenleaf Christian Church is not centrally located in its precinct, but it was the board's best option, Sims said. "We knocked on every single door in that area, it seems like." Greenleaf Christian Church was the only organization to offer the board its space.

The board will mail cards to all voters in the three precincts, which will note the name and location of the new polling places.

Cards may also be sent to voters in Precinct 10, Goldsboro Friends Church, to let them know their polling place has not changed. Greenleaf Christian Church is near the line between Precincts 10 and 11, so voters may be confused, Sims said.

Other changes in polling places include wheelchair ramps, new signs and other accessibility aids. The Board of Elections will be applying for grants to pay for these improvements.

For more election information, call the Wayne County Board of Elections at 731-1411 or go to www.waynegov.com/boe.