LINCOLN COUNTY, Ga (WJBF)-
UPDATE 2/23/2022- The Board of Elections is scheduled to finally vote on the issue of fewer polling locations in Lincoln County. NewsChannel 6 spoke with several county residents who said the were against the idea of just one polling location, but support having three. One location will be at each end of the county and one will be in the middle.
That vote is scheduled to take place February 23 at 5:30 at the Lincoln Center on May Avenue.
A meeting to decide if Lincoln County will limit polling locations has been rescheduled.
The vote was originally supposed to happen at January’s meeting, but some very vocal residents who were shouting caused the board to adjourn early without voting.
The meeting was rescheduled to February 9th, but officials rescheduled again for later in February, citing scheduling conflicts.
People at the January meeting were unhappy because the board planned to close six out of seven polling locations.
Director of the Board of Elections, Lilvender Bolton, said those voices were heard.
“And we did take under consideration how they felt. We did take that under consideration. And we come up with one on each end of the county and one in the middle,” Bolton said.
Bolton told NewsChannel 6 she was surprised by the number of angry people at the meeting. She said there were two public hearings that were well advertised and she can’t understand why people claim they didn’t know about them.
“And that was the whole purpose of the two public hearings. Putting it in the newspaper, sending out letters to every household. You know, we spent over $3,000 in postage,” she explained.
Bolton told NewsChannel 6 that prior to the January meeting, only 15 to 20 people attended the public hearings and not one person came to her to ask questions or voice concerns.
She said that since then only one person has approached her after hearing rumors. One of those was that Bolton was closing all voting locations in the county and moving voting to Augusta. Another was that African American voters would no longer be sent absentee ballots.
She assured the person that those rumors were completely false and not in her power to do.
Bolton said the reason the Board of Elections wants to reduce the number of voting locations is because they don’t think there are enough registered voters to support seven precincts.
Here are the total number of registered Lincoln County voters in each precinct:
- MIDWAY- 648
- CLUBHOUSE- 795
- LINCOLN CENTER- 1534
- FAITH TEMPLE- 429
- TABERNACLE- 1136
- BETHANY- 596
- MARTINS CROSSROADS- 1296
Bolton said two current locations will remain open- Midway and Martins Crossroad. The new central location will be at the Walker Norman Gymnasium.
If passed, the fewer number of locations will go into effect for the May 24th election.
The vote is now scheduled to take place on February 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Lincoln Center.