Election Commission Votes To Close Polling Places

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In an effort to save taxpayers over $6,000 while still providing convenience to voters, the Cannon County Election Commission voted recently to eliminate or combine three voting locations.

The Election Commission unanimously voted to combine Short Mountain #2 with the Gassaway voting location; combine Short Mountain #4 with the Eastside voting location; and combine the Pleasant Ridge voting location with Auburntown.

The changes will become effective with the March 6 Presidential Preference Primary.

"This move saves the taxpayers a total of $6,641 (per year or per countywide election?)," said Election Commission Chairman Lindbergh Dennis, "and voters will not be inconvenienced by our action."

Dennis said several factors went into the commission's decision, including the cost savings and the small number of voters impacted by the move.

"We discussed it thoroughly and all five commissioners believed it was the right move to make," Lindbergh added.

Voters affected by the change will be notified by letter of their new voting location. A new voter registration card will be included with the letter.

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Members Opinions:
November 19, 2011 at 6:47am
Does this mean if you live on Doolittle and vote at WGS you will now have to drive to Auburntown to vote.
November 19, 2011 at 8:39am
Does this mean if you live in the Short Mountain Community you will have to drive to Gassaway to vote on election day?
November 19, 2011 at 11:34am
So, there will be no polling place at the Short Mountain School.
November 20, 2011 at 7:12am
65stang That is the way I understand the change. It certainly will be an incovience for voters living on Doolittle to drive 10 miles one way to vote in the county election. I don't understand why voters in the Doolittle community aren't zoned to vote at WGS. Maybe the election commission will vote to reinburse us for our expenses.
November 20, 2011 at 5:25pm
I feel this will greatly decrease voter turnout. Each of these areas most likely have low numbers as far as turnout but, when you add them togther there are quite a few votes. hopefully the Election Commission will rethink this.
November 20, 2011 at 8:37pm
How did the election commission get around T.C.A. 2-3-101. If a county election commission determines that there is no place within a precinct which meets the requirements of this title for polling places, it shall designate the nearest available and suitable place no more than one-half (1/2) mile from the precinct boundary as the polling place. If no accessible polling place is available within the precinct, or, within the one-hale (1/2) mile limit outside the precinct, with the approval of the state coordinator of elections, the county election commission may designate a suitable place within three (3) miles.
November 21, 2011 at 10:43am
It is understood that everyone is frustrated, but it needs to be reminded that the Election Commission had an $11,000 cut from their budget this year that would allow for these precincts to be open.

Cannon county is not the only county to have precincts cut. Rutherford, Dekalb, Putnam, and many others have had to deal with budget cuts just as well, and have had to do the same restructuring.

Early voting is still available to all, and there are times set aside to help accommodate all.
November 21, 2011 at 1:27pm
The election office is in the process of tearing down a wall at the county's expense as well as asking for increases in salaries. Maybe they need to be satisfied with what they have instead of putting hardships on voters especially senior citizens. Also, according to T.C.A. there laws in place concerning moving precincts. I don't think the election commission has done this legally.
November 21, 2011 at 4:09pm
No precincts are being moved. They remain unchanged. The wall was torn down because the room is used for early voting, and the state election office said it did not meet requirements.
November 21, 2011 at 10:31pm
Closed or moved it doesn't matter it will still make a hardship on voters.
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