Commission approves changes to precincts, voting centers
Published 2:18 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022
By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer
COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Commission approved changes to precinct boundaries and voting center designations at a regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 10.
The reasons for the changes relate to issues with traffic flow, building access and other challenging factors, according to Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins.
“Some of them have been going on for years in other elections, so it’s time to address some of those right now,” Scroggins said.
Kim Melton, chief clerk in the Shelby County Probate Judge’s office, also listed economy of funds as a reason for the changes, which include decreasing the number of voting precincts from 43 to 37.
“Changing to the poll pads now, that has been something we have spent some money on, and we’re going to need to buy some more poll pads,” Melton said. “By adding and combining some of these precincts together, we can purchase less poll pads and be able to preserve some funds that way.”
Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego said the changes will give the SCSO more manpower regarding security.
“From my perspective, this is very helpful because we have upped our game as far as security within the polling places,” Samaniego said. “By reducing them gives me more manpower to cover that as well as having more of what we call ‘floats’ that can float between them. We’ll be able to put the same amount of manpower in place and get a lot better coverage and security as well as bringing the necessary things back to the courthouse after the end of the voting day. I think this is a big plus for Shelby County.”
Scroggins said the decrease in districts will help with a shortage of poll workers in recent years.
“The goal is to continue to try to improve the service,” Scroggins said. “Even in some locations that were considered problem locations, it was just because our poll workers didn’t have the traffic flow down right, and now we’ll actually have more poll workers there.”
Notifications will be sent to all residents who have a change to their precincts, including facility name changes.
The decrease in precincts means the polling location numbers will change.
The county will share a link to the full list of precinct boundary and voting center designation changes soon.