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County considers new voting district

March 11, 2014

BY JUSTIN MINYARD
news@dailytimesleader.com

The North West Point Voting Precinct boundary line could see an extension in the near future.
After West Point expanded its city limits after its most recent redistricting, a nominal 17 out of the total 669 Vinton voters were absorbed into West Point’s new city limits. That expansion, according to Clay County Circuit Clerk Bob Harrell, culminated in a 17-652 split of Vinton voters. The 17 Vinton electors absorbed by the annexation, at present, would be required to embark on a relatively long haul to the Vinton voting precinct right off Barton Ferry Road to cast a ballot.
Harrell proposed to the Clay County Board of Supervisors at its regularly scheduled board meeting Thursday an extension of the North West Point Voting Precinct to include those 17 voters, so as to eliminate the long drive.
“It’s just moving the boundary out,” Harrell said. “ ... It’s more convenient (for those 17 electors).”
Harrell said by extending the North West Point Voting Precinct line, it alleviates confusion for the poll workers and election commissioners, as well. After the split in Vinton voters, there was a need for exclusive ballots for the 17 voters absorbed by the redistricting.
“It’s just to create less confusion and to make sure all those voters have the same ballots,” Harrell said. “It will create less confusion for the poll workers and voters in the precinct.”
Harrell said there will be no adjustments to any sort of data post-expansion.
Bob Marshall, board attorney, recommended during Thursday’s meeting the board approve pushing forward with the expansion pending whatever might be necessary in terms of a possible public hearing and advertising. That is, the board would finalize all steps necessary to implement the new precinct lines, but — under the assumption a public hearing was necessary — were individuals to present to the board reasons why the expansion was not a good idea, supervisors have the authority to rescind the action.

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