Poll workers seek central voting location for city elections

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &045; If council members can agree on a solution, upcoming city and general elections may run a little differently in the near future. A proposal by poll worker Alice Boggs to the city council calls for a centralized voting place for all future city elections.

To prevent this, Boggs presented a solution by having a single voting location at a centrally located public place, such as the civic center, that would house all five district boxes and the handicapped voting machine. Furthermore, the single voting locale would only be for city elections.

If the council were to make a change in the polling locations, Boggs said they would not need to go through the state or federal government to change it. The Code of Alabama allows local governments to designate either a single polling place or one for each district.

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But not all of the councilmen were as enthusiastic about her proposal. Councilman Charles Jones said many people in his district do not have transportation to get them to the civic center. Previous service with West Alabama Public Transportation, one option Boggs pointed out, has not yielded satisfactory results with getting people to the polls on time, Jones said.

Councilman Thomas Moore was equally displeased with a central location.

As for lines, Boggs and a fellow poll worker, Ann Hunter, said the current machines are capable of quick turn-around time regardless of the number of people coming in and out to vote. Often the only thing that hinders the voting process, Hunter explained, is when people over-vote or fill out their ballots incorrectly.

Councilmen Woody Collins and Melvin Yelverton were both in favor of the idea. Before the last city election, Yelverton said the polling place in his district was changed three weeks before the election, causing confusion among voters. Collins said he had always been in favor of centralized voting.

Council members made no decision at their last meeting, but the issue is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting, where they are expected to take some action.