Voters in the county's largest precincts are receiving notices in the mail about the new polling places.
The Board of Elections office recently received the necessary approval from the U.S. Department of Justice to split six voting precincts where either driving distances were too far to the polls or the population had grown.
"If a precinct gets 2,000 or more voters, the state requires that you split that precinct," said Debbie Marshall, executive director of the county's Board of Elections.
Marshall and her staff have been busy notifying affected voters about the change and updating computers with the splits. They also have started training poll workers and precinct managers ahead of the March 2 presidential primary, which is when the new locations will be used.
Updating the computer information alone took 2 1/2 months of sorting through voter registration files and street maps provided by the county's planning department, Marshall said.
"We just had to take it precinct-by-precinct," she said.
She said the last time the county had a significant splitting of voting precincts was in the late 1990s.
Though the population growth of registered voters required five of the six splits, Damascus Baptist Church was added as a polling location because the Burks Mountain Road Fire Station was too far for some residents in the northern part of the county.
Another change that the Justice Department approved was moving the polling site from Martinez Community center to Augusta Christian Schools. Marshall said that move was requested because of traffic-safety concerns.
Precinct/Site Being Split New Precinct/Site
015 - Lewis United Methodist Church 016 - Woodlawn Baptist Church
030 - Grovetown City Hall 033 - Grovetown Middle School
050 - Burks Mountain Road Fire Station 051 - Damascus Baptist Church
060 - Evans Elementary School 062 - Parkway Baptist Church
132 - Wesley United Methodist Church 134 - Columbia County Engineering Department
061 - Greenbrier High School 063 - Mount Olive Baptist Church
The voting site for precinct 100 is moving from Martinez Community Center to Augusta Christian Schools.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.