Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More than Half of Athens County Polling Places Change

Brianna Savoca

On Election Day, Athens area voters may not realize their polling location has moved.
The Athens County Board of Elections relocated 39 of the 69 voting stations around the county.

After receiving complaints about parking concerns and handicap accessibility, the Board of Elections changed the locations in order to remain compliant with the American Disability Act (ADA).

Board of Elections Director Deborah Quivey explains why 39 poll locations changed.

The Board of Elections' changes affect more than 22,700 voters, and community members are concerned that many voters may be unaware their polling location has changed.

"Election notification cards went out September 5th with location changes," Athens County Board of Elections Director Deborah Quivey says.

However, some precincts were changed after the first round of cards went out.

"New cards will be sent out to voters September 19th," Quivey says.

Community members worry some voters may accidentally discard their notification as junk mail.

Kim Bail says she never knew poll locations changed until a neighbor told her.

David Croston says voters will still show up at the polls November 4th despite changes.

The Board of Elections does have a plan for voters who do not read or receive their notification cards. "We're going to put signage at old polling places," Quivey explains.

The Board of Elections received nearly $8,000 to make sure all polling locations are ADA compliant. Much of the money will be used for information signs at the new and old polling locations. Since many schools are already ADA compliant, they serve as better locations for polling stations, Quivey says.

Another concern among voters is congestion at the polls during bus pick-up and drop-off times in the morning and afternoon, but Quivey says to use common sense.

"Don't go vote during busy times at school," Quivey says.

Schools have been cooperative about becoming polling stations, Quivey says. Principals of schools hosting polls are asking teachers to park in alternative lots to leave parking spaces for voters on Election Day, Quivey adds.

"If you have any doubt please call us," Board of Election Director Quivey says. "That's why we're here, to help you."

"The voting locations we have now are better for the voter," Quivey says. "Overall, we think we made the right choice with everything."

Below is a list of all polling places in Athens County, if you have any questions, contact the Board of Elections Office at (740)592-3201

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