White County Hits Polling Centers on Election Days to Give Voters Options | News


White County gets its first polling centers after the quorum court on Tuesday night approved an order and an emergency clause allowing their use.

“Tonight is a night to celebrate. We have 13 great justices of the peace who voted to support the county’s first polling centers, ”White County Election Commission Chairman Robert Allen said after the meeting. “I would like to thank the judges for their support. This will increase turnout in their ridings and make voting more convenient for their constituents and others in the county by having more choice of locations on election day between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Voting centers will only be used on election day. Early voting will always be done in the same way with specific polling stations named as such.

JP Bobby Burns asked if some polling stations would be closed due to the presence of polling centers. JP Sue Liles replied, “I believe Mr. Allen has mentioned in other groups that all of these voting sites are now accessible by WiFi, so there won’t be a closed voting site because there is no voting site. is not accessible on the Internet. It was a question that has come up before.

She said the previously mentioned sites that may not have service and may need to close were around Griffithville and West Point and around Floyd and Romance may not have service, but Allen said those areas have been verified and that ‘they’re all good now. “Every enclosure that was open before will be open,” Liles said.

Burns asked what the voting centers would be good for if all the sites were approved: “So you can vote anywhere in the county,” White County Judge Michael Lincoln said.

“You will never go to a bad polling station, you can vote anywhere,” Liles added.

Lincoln said it allows someone who is out of town and cannot return to vote until the polls close in the White County area he is in. He mentioned as an example a person living in Beebe being in Bradford.

“And, you have to realize that if you go to Bradford to take mum and dad to the polls because they don’t drive or it’s a bad day to go out, you can vote too,” Liles said, “or you having mommy and daddy there or grandpa and grandma there, you can vote at the same time they do.

Burns asked Lincoln if he thought polling centers would have an effect on voting irregularities.

“Would that open the door to voting abuse? Lincoln said. “No, because say, Mr. Burns, if you voted Beebe and forgot you voted Beebe and ended up at Walmart and say, ‘Oh, I have to vote on election day “. You go to a polling center and you give them your name, you will appear in the minutes as having already voted, so you will not be able to vote twice.

“You hear a lot about purging the voters lists and we do that from time to time in White County. And this is how we purge them: If someone dies, we try to take them off the books. If we get a notice that someone has moved – because we send a recording that explains this – there are a few times that you notify someone, but the purging of the voting lists is something that happens all the time. For some reason some people think we are trying to suppress votes, but we are not. I can’t imagine what your records would look like if you had never purged the voting lists in our office.

White County Clerk Carla Barnett said she was “very comfortable” with the polling centers even though “it is not going to reduce our workload.”

“It will always be pretty much the same; we still have 32 voting sites and the same number of trained poll workers, ”Barnett said,“ but that’s going to make it a lot easier for the voter because we have so many people saying they go to the polls. bad voting site and they say, “We’re just not going to vote if we can’t vote here.”

“They don’t understand why they can’t vote. There is a vote here, sign over there and they don’t get it and I think we are losing a lot of votes because people don’t want to queue elsewhere, and now if there is a queue in your office to vote, you can cross the city to another. They might know that there is no queue at this polling station and that you don’t have to wait. I just think it’s going to make it a lot simpler and a lot cleaner.

In every election, Lincoln said, there is a certain percentage of White County voters who vote early, and then there is a certain percentage who will vote only on election day. He said it was “pretty consistent”.

“I’m sure if you’ve all been following what’s going on in the country, there have been several states that have enacted ‘voting laws that are’ depending on which side of the aisle you are on, some say unconstitutional and on the other side, it’s very constitutional. The vote is always going to continue to be contested as technology advances. Personally, I would go back to punch cards, but thanks to Florida, we can’t go back to punch cards. punch cards, but that will increase the opportunity in my opinion as there is really no excuse not to vote because you can vote in one of the many polling stations that we have, so that will really be an advantage to increase.

Lincoln demanded that judges follow efforts by federal lawmakers to pass voting rights law. “If a new electoral law is passed it means that it will be a federal takeover of our electoral elections and we wouldn’t want that to happen, so you better pay close attention to what is happening in Washington right now. Make sure you let your reps know what you think.

Allen thanked the White County Election Commission and Election Coordinator Tara McKnight, as well as former County CIO Nathan Elli for developing the voting center plan.

“We hope in the very near future to disseminate information to the public about the new polling centers,” Allen said. “We will be using social media and signs and more to get information out to voters ahead of the early voting for the primary on May 24, 2022.”

The polling stations are Antioch Church, Beebe Church of Christ, Beebe Town Hall, Bradford Baptist Church, Carmichael Community Center, White County Central High School, l ‘United Methodist Church, Downtown Christ Church, El Paso Community Center, Fairview Fire Station, First Assembly of God, First General Baptist Church, Floyd First Baptist Church, Garner City Hall, Georgetown Community Building, Griffithville Senior Citizens Community Building, Higginson City Hall, Joy Fire Station, Judsonia Community Building, Kensett First Baptist Church, Letona City Hall, McRae Multi-purpose building, Pangburn Town Hall, Church of Christ Pineview, Rose Bud Community Center , 16 Section Church, Central Baptist Church, United Methodist Church, Valley Baptist Church, Velvet Ridge Church of Christ, West Point Town Hall, and West Race Baptist Church.

Allen said the nomination window for candidates for the May 2022 primary runs from February 22 at noon to March 1 at noon. Each justice of the peace raised their hand when Lincoln asked how many of them were running again.


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