Political activists protesting Columbus' plans to consolidate some voting precincts will get another chance to complain 5:30-7 p.m. Feb. 25 as the Muscogee Board of Elections and Registrations holds a public meeting on the matter in the auditorium of the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road.
The board arranged the meeting after NAACP representatives and some elected officials last week said they had no idea voting precincts were about to change, though the plans were no secret, having been reported in the Ledger-Enquirer and included in records of board meetings forwarded to Columbus Council.
Also in the public record were letters to the elections board from the Muscogee County School District, asking election supervisors to move voting polls out of some elementary schools and from Carver High School, which is to be demolished. The school district was concerned about student safety, having had an election-day incident in which a school could not be locked down when an inmate escaped in the area because the voting poll could not be closed.
While moving those precincts from schools, the elections board planned to consolidate some of them because more voters now are casting their ballots well in advance, as the law now allows no-excuse absentee voting 45 days before an election.
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The board postponed approving the changes Thursday when critics complained. Board members asked that anyone with proposed improvements to the plan submit them in writing by Feb. 18.
These are the precinct changes that first would take effect during Georgia's July 20 party primaries: Wynnton and Britt at Wynnton precincts will combine to create Wynnton precinct at Wynnton United Methodist Church, 2412 Wynnton Road.
Carver will move and combine with Mack precinct at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road.Belvedere precinct will move and combine with St. John precinct, 3980 Steam Mill Road.
Brewer and North Lumpkin precincts will combine at Victory Independent Baptist Church, 3150 30th Ave.Spencer will move to Muscogee precinct, 3900 Baker Plaza Drive.
St. Marys, St. Marys United Methodist Church and Liberty precincts will combine to create Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, 4400 Old Cusseta Road. Wesley Heights and Forrest Road precincts will combine at Faith Tabernacle, 1603 Floyd Road.
Edgewood School precinct will move and combine with Edgewood Baptist Precinct, 3564 Forrest Road.
Reese Road and Gentian precincts will be combined at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4400 Reese Road.
Waddell precinct will move and combine with Fort precinct, 2900 Woodruff Farm Road.
Mathews precinct will move and combine with Psalmond precinct, 6500 Psalmond Road.
Hannan precinct will move and combine with Gallops precinct, 1212 15th Street.
Johnson and Arnold precincts will combine to create Epworth precinct, 2400 Devonshire Drive.
Hardaway precinct will move and combine with Clubview at the Columbus Public Library.
Key precinct will move and combine with Eddy precinct, 2100 South Lumpkin Road.
Morningside precinct will move and combine with Moon precinct, 7300 Livingston Drive.
Heiferhorn precinct will move and combine with St. Mark precinct, 6795 Whitesville Road.
Georgetown will move and combine with Rothschild precinct, 1136 Hunt Ave.
Midland Academy precinct will move and combine with St. Andrews precinct, 4980 Hancock Road.