TAKING ACTION: Resident concerns lead to decision to relocate a Marshall Co. polling location

Taking Action
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MARSHALL CO., Ala. -- A Marshall County polling location is going to be relocated after several residents voiced concerns on social media and to the county commission.

Several residents reached out to us at WHNT News 19 with their concerns about a polling location.

The polling location is on Community House Road in Marshall County. Located near Guntersville, the Community House was packed full of voters consistently throughout the day Tuesday.

"We just got a lot of complaints," says poll worker Mary Sims, "Mostly about the parking, and it's not available to handicapped." Sims worked the polls at that location.

The area's makeup and lack of assets makes it hard for residents who are in a wheelchair or have difficulty walking to get in and vote. "One man was very irate because he said his wife was in a wheelchair and said she wanted to vote, but he couldn't get her in there," Sims says.

Residents tell us that parking was another complaint. There wasn't enough room for all of the voters who were constantly streaming in and out all day. "One lady, she comes in and she was so mad, she said she got stuck in the mud and had to get somebody to help her push her car out of the mud," said Sims.

Sims says she's heard complaints from other residents in the area about similar concerns, and ultimately, the residents say they would like to see a change next time around.

Residents tell us they would like to see that particular polling location relocated.

"We had some phone calls yesterday afternoon about some issues with the handicap [accessibility] and the parking at the Sims Community Center," Commission Chairman James Hutcheson says.

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Hutcheson says they started working on a solution to those issues as soon as they were made aware of them. Thursday county officials met to decide on an action. "What we decided to do is relocate that voting place to either one of the local churches or the fire department," Hutcheson explains.

That decision should be resolved by next Wednesday at the commission meeting. "We do need a better voting place, especially with the elderly people and handicapped, so we will resolve that problem by next Wednesday," Hutcheson says, "We'll have a new location picked out, and it will be announced to the public next Wednesday."

Residents who vote at the Community House location will be getting notification of their new polling place after a decision is made.

Marshall County has used some funds to provide the building with new doors and new windows several years ago. The community is responsible for the upkeep of the building.

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