Voting ballot generic

Henry County officials may make changes to three voting precincts – including the largest one – in time for the March primary election.

The Henry County Commission voted this week to allow Probate Judge David Money to arrange the adjustments, which must be made final six months before the primary, or Sept. 3, in order to take effect.

Commissioners hope to divide the busy Headland precinct with the addition of a voting place at Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. They also hope to relocate the Wills Crossroads and Douglas Crossroads precincts that now operate in antiquated buildings.

Money said the lines at the Headland precinct contained 100 people during most of the 2016 general election, which included the presidential race. Residents of three commission districts – 1, 2, and 5 – vote at the former Headland National Guard Armory currently, but voters in Districts 2 and 5 would relocate to Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church should officials implement the change.

Money said his office continues discussion with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office regarding the plan.

Other changes propose to relocate polls away from portable buildings the commission purchased about 15 years ago. Those small structures, and the lack of permanent bathroom facilities, may discourage people from voting, Money said.

Discontinuing the use of the buildings as poll sites and converting them into storage units for some poll supplies may reduce the county’s maintenance costs as well.

The Wills Crossroads precinct, located between Shorterville and Abbeville, would move to Old Zion Baptist Church in the county’s plan. The Douglas Crossroads precinct, located east of Headland, would transfer to either Camp Springs Baptist Church or Hebron Baptist Church.

Money met with church officials to discuss the proposals late Wednesday. The commission would provide the churches a small fee to compensate for things like electrical use and cleanup if a deal is reached.

Money expects to make the plans final by Aug. 26.

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