JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. -- Jackson County commissioners are discussing the potential consolidation of some voting precincts in the county. The discussion was on Monday's work session agenda.
"Back in the day when it was set up, it was set up during the horse and buggy day where three or four miles meant a lot, going to vote," explained Commission Chairman Tim Guffey, "Well, a lot of these precincts are within three or four miles of each other."
The proposal is to consolidate some of them. That list includes Bishop Hall's Store, Estill Fork Prince Store, Garth Bamarain Teen Center, Hambrick Community Center, Holly Springs Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, Hollytree Grocery, Larkinsville stock barn, and Trenton Fire Hall. The proposal would move Larkinsville to Limrock Fire Hall, Holly Springs to Pleasant Grove Community Center, and the remaining locations to Princeton Fire Hall.
"If you have three elections, say you have a primary, a runoff, and a general election, you're looking at somewhere around 2,000 dollars that it costs to put on at one precinct," Guffey said, "So if we close down ten of them, or consolidate ten of them, we could possibly save 20,000 dollars every time we do an election."
Most of the proposed locations had under 100 voters last election. "We have a lot of precincts that don't vote many, but there's not another alternative. People would have to drive 15, 20 miles to go to the next one," Guffey explained, "So, we're not looking at those."
Polling locations that are close to each other that have a close alternative are in the spotlight. For example, Larkinsville stock barn and Limrock Fire Hall are only a few miles apart. Guffey said the goal is to find a conclusion that benefits the community and the county.