Early voting starts next week in Macon-Bibb County as voters weigh in on a 1-percent sales tax referendum that would benefit the public school system. But voters are being encouraged to double-check their polling locations because of recent changes.
The Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections has reduced the number of precincts from 40 to 33 by combining some as a cost-saving measure to help with Macon-Bibb County’s need to reduce next year’s budget.
Board of Elections Chairwoman Rinda Wilson said the board was considering lowering the number of precincts to 26, but officials compromised and settled on 33, which is projected to save the county $21,000.
“We felt good about it because we got rid of the most inconvenient and lightly attended precincts,” Wilson said. “So we felt like we consolidated some of the ones that really needed it. A couple of them were because of school closings (so) we had no choice.”
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Wilson said a polling location in east Macon was eliminated because “the voters literally had to walk in the highway from where they parked to get to the voting place.”
“It’s not as easy as you think to find a good voting site,” said Wilson, adding that easy access to public transportation, distance, parking accommodations and handicap accessibility are only a few factors.
Much of the expected savings would come from reducing the number of poll workers, Wilson said. Each polling place uses an average of six to eight workers, most of whom are contracted to work only when the polls are open.
ODDS AND ENDS
Registration for the special election ended Monday. In-person early voting starts Monday and ends Friday. Early voting is between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections office, 2445 Pio Nono Ave. There will be no voting at this location after Oct. 30.
Absentee ballot applications may be requested by Oct. 30 from the elections board by calling 621-6622 or by visiting the Secretary of State’s my voter page that can be found at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.
Ballots should be mailed to the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections Office, P.O. Box 6297, Macon, GA 31208. They also may be faxed to 478-784-9774.
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4334 or follow her on Twitter @Lauraecor.
An earlier version of this story contained an error. Ballot applications may be requested by Oct. 30.
River Edge Behavioral Center (Health Department), 175 Emery Highway;
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 2501 Shurling Drive;
Northeast Magnet High School, 1646 Upper River Road;
New Griswoldville Baptist Church, 3003 Truitt Place;
East Macon Recreation Center, 3326 Ocmulgee East Blvd.
Dr. Robert J. Williams Complex at Ballard Hudson, 1780 Anthony Road;
Beulahland Bible Church, 1010 Newberg Ave.;
Memorial Gym, 763 Long St.;
Bruce Elementary School; 3660 Houston Ave.;
Harvest Cathedral, 2254 Rocky Creek Road.
Covenant Life Cathedral, 4543 Bloomfield Road;
Middle Georgia State University, 100 College Station Drive;
Lake Wildwood clubhouse, 100 Clubhouse Road;
The Well Church, 6258 Thomaston Road;
Hephzibah Childrens Home, 6601 Zebulon Road.
Northway Church, 5915 Zebulon Road;
Mabel White Baptist Church, 1415 Bass Road;
Howard High School, 6400 Forsyth Road;
North Macon Park, 815 North Macon Park Drive;
Lane Elementary School, 990 Newport Road;
St. Francis Episcopal Church, 432 Forest Hill Road;
Northside Christian Church, 5024 Northside Drive.
Mikado Baptist Church, 6751 Houston Road;
Porterfield Baptist Church, 2910 Allen Road.
Macon Charter Academy, 151 Madison St.;
Brookdale Elementary School, 3600 Brookdale Ave.;
First Christian Church, 2306 Vineville Ave.;
Greater Bellevue Baptist Church, 4041 Mumford Road;
Northminster Presbyterian Church, 565 Wimbish Road;
Ingleside United Methodist Church, 3187 Ridge Ave.;
Board of Education Welcome Center, 2003 Riverside Drive.
Lizella Baptist Church, 2950 S. Lizella Road;
Skyview Elementary School, 5700 Fulton Mill Road.
Source: Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections