When voters in several Columbia County precincts head to the polls for July's primary election, they could be going to new locations.
Deborah Marshall, Columbia County Board of Elections' executive director, said she'll soon submit changes to the U.S. Department of Justice to split or move voting locations.
Marshall said any precinct with more than 2,000 people needs to be split.
Most residents living around the Hardy McManus Road and Riverwood Parkway area now vote at Greenbrier High School, but that precinct has surpassed 2,000 people, so it will be split, Marshall said.
In the split, many residents in neighborhoods along the north side of Hardy McManus Road will vote at Grace Baptist Church, 4945 Hardy McManus Road.
"Actually, this is the second time we've split that area, because we split it back in 2003," Marshall said. "Up at Greenbrier, they are pretty much going to have their own community as far as voting."
The precinct voting at Riverside Baptist Church, at 4798 Hardy McManus Road, also will be split because of size, Marshall said.
Some of those voters, around the portion of Furys Ferry Road nearest to River Watch Parkway, will be split to vote at Stevens Creek Community Church.
"We currently have 43 (precincts), and this will give us 45 precincts," Marshall said.
Residents along Hardy McManus who voted at Mount Olive Baptist Church on Washington Road will not have to travel as far in the next election.
Those voters are being redirected to Riverside Elementary School, which is still out of the precinct lines but is much closer, Marshall said.
Everyone voting at Evans Middle School will be moved to West Acres Baptist Church on Gibbs Road.
"The school got sold," Marshall said. "So we are having to move those people over to the West Acres Baptist Church. We're going to split that precinct, but not this year. We're going to wait until 2008 to split that precinct."
Two voting locations have simply changed names, Marshall said. The former Baker Woods Baptist Church location at 470 Furys Ferry Road is now Augusta Christian Elementary School.
The former Grace Baptist Church location at 4798 Hardy McManus Road was recently sold and is now Riverside Baptist Church, Marshall said.
Voters will be sent new precinct cards and letters explaining how the change will affect them and their precinct, Marshall said.
"I feel like if we let (voters) know early what we are doing, then ... when it's election year, July of next year, we'll have everybody situated and sent to the right precincts," Marshall said. "If they have any questions about it, they can call us and we'll explain it to them, why we are making the change."
For more information, call the Columbia County Board of Elections at 868-3355.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.