As the county's population continues to grow, so does its number of voting precincts.
Columbia County election officials say two new precincts have been created for the July 18 primary.
"It has to do with the growth of the county,'' said Debbie Marshall, the county's Board of Elections director.
Recently, new precinct cards were mailed to county residents detailing their voting location and denoting a change in seat number for U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., from the 9th District to the 10th District.
"It went back to the 10th District, so everyone in the county received that precinct card because of that change,'' Marshall said. "So we just generated that all together. Instead of having two sets of precinct cards mailed out, we just waited to mail our precinct cards out because we knew we were making these (precinct) changes.''
Marshall said one of the two new precincts in the county will be at Stevens Creek Community Church, Precinct 109. Previously, the sole voting site for that precinct area, No. 108, was at the former Baker Woods Baptist Church on Furys Ferry Road. That church has since been sold to Augusta Christian Elementary School.
Now, residents in Precinct 108 will vote at Augusta Christian Elementary School and those in Precinct 109 will do so at Stevens Creek Community Church.
The second new precinct being created, No. 64, is at the new Grace Baptist Church on Hardy McManus Road. Previously, people in that area voted at Greenbrier High School. Now, those in Precinct 61 will vote at Greenbrier High while those in Precinct 64 will vote at Grace Baptist.
Among other precinct changes will be a move from Mount Olive Baptist Church to Riverside Elementary School, Precinct 63.
"We're actually moving that precinct from Mount Olive because of the size of Mount Olive,'' Marshall said.
"We needed a larger facility, so we're moving it to Riverside Elementary School.''
With the former site of Evans Middle School at the corner of North Belair and Washington Road being sold, those who once voted there will now do so at West Acres Baptist Church, Precinct 130.
Finally, the former location of Grace Baptist Church, Precinct 131, is now owned by Riverside Baptist Church. Those who once voted at the former Grace Baptist site will still do so, but election officials want voters to know that the name of the church has changed.
Concerning the upcoming primary election, Marshall said she is expecting about a 25 to 30 percent turnout of the county's 69,462 registered voters.
In other election action, the county's board of elections office will be conducting qualifying for nonpartisan/independent candidates for the Board of Education office of countywide chairperson and Board of Education District 2 member.
Anyone looking to qualify must file a notice at the elections office on Ronald Reagan Drive between 9 a.m. June 26 and noon June 30.
Those qualifying for the Board of Education countywide chairperson seat will have to pay a fee of $315. Those doing so for the District 2 seat must pay a $195 fee.
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