HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - In the upcoming March election, thousands of voters across Houston County will report to new voting precincts to cast their ballots.
Houston County commissioners approved the voting location changes and voting boundary line changes during their final August meeting. Although they’ve changed voting locations in the past, this is one of the biggest overhauls.
“One of the biggest changes that has come for voters in Houston County, but we believe in the long run it’s going to pay off,” said Doug Sinquefield, Houston County Commissioner.
It’s estimated roughly 8,000 voters will be impacted in some way. Between 6,800 - 7,000 voters will change voting locations as part of the three big moves.
“We had evaluated our facilities that we currently use over the last number of years and we identified these three locations as being a growing area of the county and really with an inadequate space to meet the growing needs of the growing public in the county,” said Houston County Probate Judge Patrick Davenport.
The three big precinct moves include:
- The voting location at Water and Electric on S Park will move across the street to the gymnasium at Selma Baptist Church. Roughly 3,698 people will be impacted.
- The Senior Center voting location in Madrid will move to the Fellowship Hall at Madrid Baptist Church. Roughly 1,050 people will be impacted.
- The voting location at Hodgesville Volunteer Fire Department will move to Memphis Baptist Church’s gymnasium. Roughly 2,223 people will be impacted.
According to Davenport, another 1,200 - 1,500 people will be impacted by boundary lines of various precincts changing.
The county hopes the shifts in voting locations will help eliminate some of the problems they’ve seen in recent years. They also hope it’s a proactive step in preparing for expected high voter turnout for the March 2020 election.
“Due to some of the polling places were antiquated, old, didn’t have handicap accessibility, the lighting was bad so that’s what we’re trying to improve,” said Sinquefield, “Our county is growing so this is going to expedite our lines.”
County officials say the location changes will be to places either across the street or no farther that half a mile from the original voting location.
Judge Davenport says the new voting locations will be posted to the probate offices website for review Tuesday. Voters can also expect information in the mail over the next few months.
“As we get close to the election, my office - the probate office - will send a notice to the impacted voters and once that voter information is updated in the state voter registration office, that will trigger the voter registration system office to also send them a mailed notice,” said Judge Davenport.
Judge Patrick Davenport says his office has been looking at possible changes to voting locations since 2012 or 2013.