Polling places change in Ahoskie, Harrellsville

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 19, 2004

AHOSKIE – As a result of excessive flooding and handicapped inaccessibility of the National Guard Armory, Hertford County Board of Elections Chair Lillie Owens-White requested permission from the Town of Ahoskie to use its building as the permanent location for voters in Precinct II to cast their ballots.

&uot;The State Board of Elections has mandated all Board of Elections to discontinue the use of the Armory as a polling place,&uot; said White.

During the last election primary, the Armory experienced flooding from heavy rain, causing voters to be relocated.

&uot;We had to find a facility that met all the HAVA (Help America Vote Act) requirements and one that was located within the Ahoskie II Precinct boundaries,&uot; said White while making her petition to council members here Tuesday. &uot;The Town Hall already has a ramp, so this location is perfect.&uot;

White also explained the urgency of the issue since the State Board of Elections advised them to find another location by September 18 due to the process they had to go through with the Justice Department and stated that the Town would no incur additional expense by agreeing to allow the building to be used as Ahoskie’s Precinct II voting location.

&uot;There would be no cost to the town other than having someone at the Town Hall during the hours that the polls would be open, prior to and after the regular working hours of the Town Hall staff,&uot; said White.

Ahoskie Town Manager Russell Overman pointed out that if council members voted to allow the use of the Town Hall that there was a possibility the Primary Elections would conflict with council meeting dates and adjustment might have to be made to accommodate their decision.

During odd years, only one election would be held, while during even years, at least two, perhaps three elections will be held with polls opening at 6:30 a.m. and closing at 7:30 p.m.

&uot;The only things I would request would be permission to install a telephone jack in the room, a cost which we would absorb, and that the hall be made available to us at no cost.&uot; she stated.

(Cofield Town Hall is currently being used as a polling place at no cost to the Board of Elections.)

A motion to allow the Hertford County Board of Elections use of its facilities was unanimously approved.

&uot;This decision may cause some disruption in the parking lot and Town Hall on Election Day, but that is a small price for democracy,&uot; stated White.

In addition to moving Ahoskie’s polling Precinct II from the Armory, the Hertford County Board of Elections also adopted a resolution to change the voting location from Harrellsville Town Hall to Harrellsville Rescue Building at 104 Quebec Street in Harrellsville.

According to figures reported by the Hertford County Board of Elections, the number of registered voters in Ahoskie, to date, is 1,717.

For more information regarding these changes, contact the Hertford County Board of Elections at 252-358-7812.