Proposed polling location changes
The Hall County Board of Elections will vote next month on combining five voting precincts:
Oakwood II, Oakwood III
- Precinct would be known as Oakwood II
- 3,610 total voters
- Cast ballots at the OGT Family Worship Center
- No more voting at West Hall Baptist Church
Morgan II, Morgan III
- Precinct would be known as Morgan II
- 3,911 total voters
- Cast ballots at Blackshear Place Baptist Church
- No more voting at Poplar Springs Baptist Church
Bark Camp, Murrayville
- Precinct would be known as Bark Camp
- 4,691 total voters
- Cast ballots at Northlake Baptist Church
- No more voting at Living Waters Outreach
Gainesville I, Riverbend
- Precinct would be known as Gainesville I
- 3,031 total voters
- Cast Ballots at First Baptist Gainesville
- No more voting at St. Michael’s Catholic Church
New Holland, Glade
- Precinct would be known as Glade/New Holland
- 3,024 total voters
- Cast ballots at East Hall Community Center
- No more voting at former East Hall library branch and what is now the county government clinic
Source: Hall County Board of Elections
Hall County is considering reducing the number of voting precincts and shifting some polling locations to lower costs, streamline operations and mitigate risk.
The Board of Elections will vote on the proposed changes in September.
The board is also considering adding early voting days and increasing stipends for churches and other polling site hosts.
The county currently operates 35 precincts, including 22 at churches, six at community centers and four at local schools.
If approved, the number of precincts will fall to 30, and changes will be made in time for a November election on a special purpose local option sales tax referendum to fund projects for Hall County schools.
A decrease in precincts will save the county an estimated $4,200 in payroll costs in this year’s elections, down to about $26,200 from $30,400, according to Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee.
“Elections are costly, but we handle what we need to handle,” Sosebee said.
Consolidation will also help reduce the risk of voter fraud, ballot mistakes and the possibility of incurring fines for violations of election protocol, she added.
These changes must be balanced with regard to voter demographics, geography and recent turnout figures.
Absentee and advance voting, for example, is high in some precincts, which makes consolidation easier to manage, Sosebee said.
Meanwhile, polling location changes could come to several precincts in South Hall.
Friendship I is the largest precinct in the county, with more than 6,000 voters at Prince of Peach Catholic Church on Spout Springs Road.
Election officials have identified Celebration Baptist Church on Thompson Mill Road as a new polling site.
Polling in Friendship II, with more than 3,000 voters at Friendship Elementary School, is proposed to move to the Spout Springs Library.
The precinct would also add more than 1,200 voters from Friendship I and Friendship III with boundary adjustments between the three.
Polling in Friendship III, with about 3,400 voters, is proposed to move to the Mulberry Creek Community Center from CW Davis Middle School.
Another proposal has the Wilson precinct along the Ga. 369 corridor seeing its polling site moved to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church from Free Chapel Worship Center.
Following discussion of these proposals at a Tuesday meeting, board members acknowledged that the door is open to tweaking these proposals, or considering changes to other precincts.