Shelby County approves changes to voting locations

Published 6:28 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer 

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Commission approved changes to voting locations that will affect residents in multiple local municipalities, including Calera, Alabaster, Montevallo and Chelsea.

“I think the positive is the changes all stay relatively in the same area,” County Commissioner Kevin Morris said.

The voting location for Precinct Three has been moved from Turner Hollis American Legion to Beulah Baptist Church.

“Beulah Baptist is one that we are very excited about,” Probate Judge Allison Boyd said. “Turner Hollis American Legion has been a great precinct for us, (but) we’ve started receiving some (feedback) from our poll workers that they wanted something that had a little better handicap accessibility.”

The voting location for Precinct 24 has been changed and will affect residents in Alabaster as the polling location has been moved from The First United Methodist Church’s Restore building to Kingwood Church.

Precinct 24 services 12,965 registered voters and the new location meets all criteria and is only 1.8 miles away from the previous location.

“This is one of those we couldn’t help, but I think it has actually turned into a blessing instead of a curse,” Boyd said. “Parking has historically been a little bit of a problem there.”

Boyd shared that the only reason the location was changed is that the Restore building is in the process of being sold.

“Kingwood Church has stepped up, and I believe is actually going to be a wonderful addition to our precincts and good replacement for Restore,” Boyd said. “They have been overwhelmingly supportive of hosting.”

Precinct 30’s voting location has been moved from the Stewart Student Retreat Center to the Robert M. McChesney Student Activity Center at the University of Montevallo.

“We had just outgrown the Stewart Student Retreat Center,” Boyd said. “The student (activity) center is going to give us the ability to get all of those voters in and out much quicker and (with better) parking.”

Voters in Precinct 33 will continue to vote at the same location which has been renamed from the Christ Church United Methodist to Christ Church Birmingham.

The voting location for Precinct 34 has been moved from the Roy Downs Calera Library to Calera Baptist Church.

“This is another one(where) there is just tremendous growth in this area,” Boyd said. “We could no longer vote at the library, it was just way too small. We’ve been delaying that for probably the last two election cycles, but we have finally (changed it) with 448 additional voters and more to come.”

The county has established Precinct 38, a new voting location which will be based at the Chelsea campus of Double Oak Church.

“This is one that is a new location, not just a replacement of a location,” Boyd said. “That is due to growth in this area and the fact that, New Life Church, we were getting to the point­ that we’re hitting the limits of what we can support. Double Oak Has been wonderful and very accommodating. They are willing to serve as a precinct and that allows us to take a lot off of New Life (Church).”

County Manager Chad Scroggins discussed the work that went into organizing the changes to the precincts.

“It truly is a team effort—from mapping to the probate office, development service and certainly community services to get this thing going,” he said.