The Columbia County Board of Elections voted this week to approve the consolidation to two Martinez voting precincts, creating what will be the second largest precinct in the county.
County Elections Director Nancy Gay said the idea to consolidate Precinct 106 with Precinct 109 coincided with the retirement of a some long-time precinct workers, which made it a convenient time to combine the two precincts instead of training more officers to take over a voting location that needed to be closed.
Board members said the polling location for Precinct 106, the Savannah Rapids Pavilion, was less than ideal because of its location and because of the sloped parking lots surrounding it.
Board Chairwoman Ann Cushman said the Savannah Rapids parking areas made it difficult for elderly or handicapped voters to get to the polling place.
Now voters from 106 will vote at the Precinct 109 location, Stevens Creek Church, which has more accessible parking and a better building for voting, Gay said.
“Steven Creek Church is already one of our early voting locations, so that will be better for those voters as well,” Gay said.
The combined precinct, still numbered 109, will have a total of 2,656 registered voters, making it second only to Precinct 15 at Lewis Memorial United Methodist Church on Columbia Road, which has more than 2,800 voters.
“The two precincts actually have very similar demographics,” said former lead county attorney Doug Bachelor, who now works under the title of “county attorney emeritus.”
Gay said the consolidation required the board and the attorney’s approval before being sent the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
Gay also said voters should verify their registration information to ensure it is correct, so they won’t encounter problems at the polls.
Voter registration information can be verified online at www.mvp.sos.state.ga.us/