The commission approved contracts with three new polling places after Elections Supervisor Laurie Fulton said there were problems with both parking and voting booths being moved within schools where voting had previously taken place.
The changes will take place in Precinct 1274, which previously hosted voting at Annette Winn Elementary School in Lithia Springs; Precinct 1272, where voting was at Bill Arp Elementary School; and Precinct 731, where voting was at Beulah Elementary School.
Commission Chairman Tom Worthan was authorized to sign contracts with Beulah Baptist Church, which replaces Beulah Elementary; First Baptist Church of Lithia Springs, which will replace Annette Winn Elementary; and Pray’s Mill Baptist Church, which will replace Bill Arp Elementary.
Some commissioners said they were concerned about Fulton’s plan to move the Fairplay voting precinct from Fairplay Middle School to the Dog River Library because of its distance.
“I think Dog River Library is a bit far from Fairplay,” said District 4 Commissioner Ann Jones Guider, who asked if any other locations had been considered.
Fulton said she had considered Union Grove Christian Church, which is located at the corner of Hwy. 166 and Post Road, but it was not fully handicapped-accessible. She added the county had attempted without success to reach out to Day Star Tabernacle as a possible voting site across the road from Fairplay Middle School.
Worthan echoed Guider’s opinion that Dog River Library is too far to ask people in the Fairplay community to drive.
Board attorney Ken Bernard explained to commissioners that moving the Fairplay precinct does not require a contract since the Dog River Library already is owned by the county. This means that the move is at the determination of the Board of Elections and not the commissioners.
The Board of Elections and Registrations meets at 5 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month in the Board of Elections office. The next meeting will be held on June 13.
Commissioners all said affected voters should be given notice of the changes in as many ways possible. Fulton said new precinct cards would be sent out to all voters affected by the polling changes. District 3 Commissioner Mike Mulcare suggested that prominent signage be placed at all old locations.
Fulton said the changes would not affect the city of Douglasville municipal elections this year.