Augusta Seniors Speak Out Against Plan To Close Polling Sites At - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Augusta Seniors Speak Out Against Plan To Close Polling Sites At Apartment Complexes

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It's political action at St. John's Towers,   residents signing a petition to show their displeasure at no longer being a polling place. 

"You're upset about this" we said to resident Pat Evatt.

 "I am I'm angry about it. I think they ought to leave it here," she said.

Under the Board of Elections proposal instead of voting at St John's Towers the registered voters would go to another polling site three quarters of a mile away.

"Most of us don't have a car and we couldn't drive if we did and we need to be able to vote here," said Evatt.

"I know they're going to say you can vote by absentee ballot but it's our God given right to go into a polling site and cast out ballot," said Connie Shiver one of the organizers of the petition drive.

But it's not just the St John's Towers polling site the Election Board precinct plan also  closes  Peabody Apartments polling site, sending residents to another location more than a mile away, and  residents there are just as peeved at the proposed closing.

"This is convenient for all the senior citizens, lot of people in wheel chairs no legs they can't get around," said resident George Washington.

"I don't have transportation I can't walk I'm in a wheelchair and I like going back there it's very convenient," says Rebecca Barrien another resident.

Like St John's Towers Peabody Apartments voters could also just vote by mail.

"For us eye site, we would be embarrassed to have other people it would never get filled out," said Douglas Holland.

There is a lot of opposition from seniors at both complexes, and that could have the election's board re-thinking its proposal.

"We need to consider what the public thought in particular the people who are going to be affected by the change to see if there is a reason to go in a different route," says Sanford Loyd, Chairman of the Board of Elections.

In all the Board of Elections precinct plan would impact more than 13 thousand voters.

Seniors at the complexes want another route saying their right to vote is at stake.

 "If they move the polling place from here it would be a couple hundred votes not being cast," said Holland.

 The Augusta chapter of the NAACP issued a statement before tonight's Board of Elections meeting expressing opposition to the voting change plans for St. John's Towers and Peabody Apartments and other changes that would suppress black and senior voting strength.

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