Supervisors considering changing some polling places
By Dwayne Bremer
Mar 22, 2013, 16:25
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors is considering moving some of its voting precincts and combining others in an effort to save money and get the polling places out of schools.
Earlier this year, the Bay-Waveland School district asked the county if it could find suitable voting locations, so that schools would not be interrupted on election days.
On Monday, Circuit Clerk Karen Ruhr informed the board that American Legion Post 139 has agreed to house the North Bay West precinct and the city of Waveland has agreed to house the Waveland West precinct at the fire station on Highway 90.
North Bay West is currently located at Bay High School and Waveland West is located at Waveland Elementary.
Ruhr also suggested the board consider combining the Lakeshore and Clermont Harbor precincts into one.
Ruhr said it takes a minimum of three poll workers per precinct and combining some could save the county money.
District One Supervisor David Yarborough said he's all for saving money, but he wants to make sure the public is not inconvenienced.
"Any time we have an election, there are always people going to vote after 5 p.m. when they get off of work," Yarborough said. "My concern is people having to stand in long lines."
Yarborough said the county is planning to move the Lakeshore precinct to the new Lakeshore community center, which should be completed soon.
Currently, the Lakeshore precinct is located at South Hancock Elementary.
Supervisors asked Rurh to bring them more detailed information about how many voters are in each precinct before it decides to combine any of them.
They also agreed to consider moving the other precincts away from the schools, however, any change in the county's polling places must be approved by the U.S. Justice Department.
There are no county, state, or federal elections scheduled for this year.
The next elections which will use county polling places are the congressional mid-term elections in 2014.