Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Precinct, Poll Location Changes will Affect Almost 42,000 Voters

Gwinnett County will reduce the number of voting precincts from 163 to 155 to save money and operate more efficiently. In about 15 precincts, poll locations will change for various reasons. “These changes will affect about ten percent of Gwinnett voters,” said Elections Director Lynn Ledford, “so we want to notify people that they’ll get an official postcard in the mail if they are affected.”

Early and absentee voting now makes it possible to consolidate some locations without creating long delays on Election Day, Ledford said. Absentee/Early voting ballots are available for 45 days before an election through the Elections Office, 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville. Applications for mail-out ballots are available now for primary election absentee ballots. Details are online at www.gwinnettcounty.com.

Early voting for next summer’s primary election will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 12 –16 and for the general election on Oct. 25 – 29. During these weeks, there will be four locations, in addition to the Elections Office, for early voting: Centerville Community Center, Dacula Activity Building, George Pierce Community Center and Lucky Shoals Community Center.

Signs and maps will be posted on Election Day at all old and new polling locations where changes have been made. Poll locations sometimes change based on the availability or cost of using a facility. Most precincts are small enough that new locations will still be relatively close to most voters in that precinct.

Citizens who aren’t registered to vote can get a voter registration form online but must return it by mail or in person. The deadline for registration is June 21 to vote in the primary and Oct. 4 for the general election. Information on how to become a paid poll worker is available at pollofficials@gwinnettcounty.com.

“We understand these changes could cause confusion so we want voters to be aware of the situation. These improvements will help control costs and make us more efficient,” Ledford said.