FLORENCE, Ala. - It’s a decision which came pretty easy for leaders in Lauderdale County. County commissioners have voted to move one of the county’s largest polling places away from an elementary school.
Words can’t describe the frustration voters have felt trying to cast their ballots at Forest Hills Elementary in Florence.
“Anyone who has been to Forest Hills Elementary School knows that on a normal day the traffic is bad. And when you throw voting into the mix, it was a really bad situation,” explained Lauderdale County Probate Judge Will Motlow.
Crammed into the lobby of the school’s gym, voters often waited in line outside. Judge Motlow said more than 2,000 residents cast ballots there in November.
“The space where they held voting was just not large enough to accommodate that number of voters,” stated Motlow. “Had voting remained at the school we would have had to move it to a different place.”
So to give voters some relief, starting in 2018 residents will go to Christ Chapel Church on Cloverdale Road.
“I think it is going to be a good setup. It’s going to be better for the voters. Christ Chapel has a lot of parking, they're handicapped accessible, and they have a lot of space,” said Motlow.
And if folks have to wait in line, at least they’ll be able to do so indoors.
Speaking with the City Clerk’s Office in Florence, they are also looking to move municipal elections out of Forest Hills School as well. They are discussing whether to follow suit with the county or find another location.