Randolph elections board votes to consolidate precincts

Updated: Jul. 11, 2019 at 3:46 PM EDT
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CUTHBERT, Ga. (WALB) - Citing a shrinking population and infrastructure issues with some rural voting stations, the Randolph County Board of Elections wants to eliminate three of the least-used locations, lowering the number of precincts in the county by three.

The board approved a resolution Tuesday to start consolidating precincts.

Randolph County has lost over a 1,000 residents in the last eight years, and now has only 6,833 people, according to 2018 statistics. Accordingly, tax revenues have also declined.

[ Previous coverage : Randolph Co., GA votes to not close majority of polling places ]

[ Previous coverage : Outrage expressed over proposal to close most Randolph Co. polling locations ]

The board wants to close the Carnegie voting precinct, and have those voters vote at the Cuthbert Courthouse.

  • The Carnegie precinct currently has 333 registered voters. Of those voters, 290 are Caucasian and 34 are African American. A total of 154 voters cast in-person votes at the Carnegie precinct on election day in 2018.

The board proposes consolidating the Fountain Bridge precinct and the Fourth District precinct with the Shellman station.

  • The Fountain Bridge precinct currently has 73 registered voters. 64 of these voters are Caucasian and six are African American. Only 37 voters voted there last year.
  • Ninety-two of these 109 Fourth District voters are Caucasian, and 14 are African American. Only 56 voters voted there last year.

The county lawyer told WALB a small number of minority voters were affected by this change, but could lead to a bigger problem in the county.

“That’s where the lawsuit might come from, so this seems to be a step forward for the entire process of establishing voter precincts without an adverse effect on the minority community in Randolph County,” said Tommy Coleman, the county attorney.

The board also proposes moving the voting location from the gym at Cuthbert Middle School to the cafeteria, which is a cleaner, accessible and safe facility.

The board is also talking to the Pataula Regional Transit Service about free transportation on election day from the three affected precincts to the new polling places

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