Edmonson Voice Staff
At Monday's fiscal court meeting, County Clerk Kevin Alexander announced that the County Election Board is looking into the possibilities of making changes in the current polling location system in Edmonson County.
It's no secret that many voters in the Wingfield community were unhappy when they were no longer allowed to vote at the Wingfield Firehouse. Some have to drive ten miles or more to vote at South Edmonson Elementary.
"The previous Election Board voted to do that," said Clerk Alexander. "It's my understanding that the reasons were high costs of having two polling places in one magisterial district, as well as possible parking issues at the Wingfield Firehouse."
The Chalybeate/Wingfield voting district has the highest number of registered voters, as well as voter turnout in the entire county. Alexander says it only makes sense to look into the possibilities of reopening the polls in Wingfield for the next election.
"Right now, we have several issues that need to be looked at," he said. "We've got District 3 (Rocky Hill) that currently has two polling places, which are at Rocky Hill and The Community Church. They have a small amount of registered voters compared to other places in the county, so is it best to consolidate two polling places into one? We're discussing it."
He also brought up examples of how lines are drawn throughout the county, many of which do not make sense, logistically. "We have someone who lives a few feet on the north side of the river, within Brownsville City limits, and they have to vote at Bear Creek. There are people in the Indian Creek area that are voting in Lincoln. The next-door neighbor to Kyrock Elementary can't vote there because of these lines, and it doesn't make sense."
Alexander said the most common complaints about voting locations are based around "Why do I vote there, when I live over here?" Alexander said those were very legitimate questions.
"This should be about doing everything we can to provide more opportunities and easier circumstances for Edmonson County residents to get out and vote, and that's what we're trying to do."
Alexander said the Election Board would likely vote on polling places like the Wingfield Firehouse issue in December, but re-drawing the lines for the districts would have to be done by fiscal court. He said the Election Board will continue to research all options and would likely make a recommendation to the fiscal court to see if some of these changes are made.