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State approves voting precinct consolidation

ELIZABETH HEFFNER
Staff Writer

Lincoln County residents may be voting at a new precinct location this election season.
The Lincoln County Board of Elections announced Tuesday that the State Board of Elections Director Kim Strach has approved the county’s proposed precinct consolidations, which would consolidate the 28 precincts throughout the county to 23.
Discussions regarding the proposed precinct consolidations began in April during a public hearing. The county’s Board of Elections director, Bradley Putnam, presented the plan.
“Compared to other counties our size, we currently have three to five precincts more than usual,” Putnam said during the April 16 meeting.
During his presentation, Putnam explained that consolidation would resolve their Board of Elections issues regarding manpower, voting locations and voting equipment costs.
“The consolidation of these precincts will help with the declining number of voters willing to serve as poll workers,” he said in the press release.
State election laws require poll workers receive training annually, regardless of their years of experience. Furthermore, poll workers can expect to work between 12-14 hours on Election Day.
“The consolidation will also reduce the amount of voting equipment to be purchased, saving taxpayers upwards of $50,000,” Putnam said.
According to the Lincoln County Board of Elections press release, Crouse and Heavner’s precincts have been combined to form the Howards Creek precinct, with voting located at the Howards Creek community building. Long Shoals and Love Memorial precincts were combined to form the Laboratory precinct, voting at South Fork Fire Department. North Brook #9 and North Brook #3 have now been combined to form North Brook 3A, with voting at the North Brook Community Building. Hickory Grove and Oak Grove were combined to become Startown precinct, voting at North 321 Fire Department, and Triangle and Triangle East have been combined to become Triangle A, with voting at the East Lincoln Recreation Center.
All voters living in effected precincts will receive notification cards, informing them of their new voting location and precinct name.
“The Lincoln County Board of Elections looks forward to educating voters on the new changes with their precincts, and we are happy to answer any questions someone may have in regards to where they may vote,” Putnam said.
For more information about the precinct consolidations and the upcoming fall election, contact the Lincoln County Board of Elections at (704) 736-8480.

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