ACLU looks to reopen Valdosta State University polling location

ACLU looks to reopen Valdosta State University polling location

LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - The Lowndes County Board of Elections hosted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia for its Board of Elections meeting Tuesday night.

The ACLU wants the board to reopen a polling location on Valdosta State University’s campus.

“It’s so important to us that students, that the community, that they’re able to exercise their sacred fundamental right to vote," said Aklima Khondoker, ACLU staff attorney.

Khondoker was the staff attorney with the Georgia ACLU who attended the meeting, hoping to support students and ensure that they get the polling place re-opened.

“Ten years ago, when we tried the VSU voting place, out of 10,000 voters, plus or minus, we had eight actually show up and vote in the polling place. So, we closed it right after that," said Deb Cox, the supervisor of elections.

Cox said they had to be considerate of the Lowndes County taxpayers’ money being spent to fund the location.

“Cost-benefit analysis, you know when you open a polling place, staff it with 10, 12 people and use that VSU space, and have to pay their salaries, have to deliver equipment, have to print special ballots for that precinct and only eight people vote, that’s problematic. We have to be good stewards of the tax dollars too," said Cox.

Khondoker shared that they planned on demonstrating at Tuesday’s meeting that this polling location can work.

“We’re going see students, we’re going to see members of the community, we’re going to see faculty members that are specifically saying that they are willing and ready to work to make sure that this polling location is open," said Khondoker.

The Board of Elections shared that they have already been discussing and addressing the issues related to re-opening the polling location for months.

Khondoker said that it’s encouraging to hear that the board has been in talks of opening this location because they want to see students able to exercise their right to vote.

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