Nearly half of Lee County voters will be casting ballots at new locations this fall. Notices will soon be mailed to more than 128 thousand Lee voters telling them where their new polling place is – in time for the September 5th primary election. Some changes are because old polling locations were too small, or didn’t have adequate parking. A few sites decided they didn’t want to host elections anymore. But Lee County Supervisor of Elections – Sharon Harrington – says most of the changes stem from a 2002 federal election reform bill requiring precincts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We were able to receive a variance up through the 2004 elections but that expires on Election Day this September. So by this election day we had to have all our precincts up to snuff as far as all of the ADA requirements.”
Passed in the wake of the 2000 election, the 2002 Help America Vote Act affects nearly every aspect of elections in the United States… from ADA compliance issues to the replacement of punch card and manual lever voting machines. Harrington says anyone with questions about where to vote should call her office – or go online to www.LeeElections.com.
While changes to polling locations in Lee County might make it easier for some people to vote, for others it might make the process more difficult. About 40-percent of Lee voters will cast their ballot at new sites beginning with the September 5th Primary Election. In all 70 out of 171 voting sites are changing, mostly to comply with the 2002 federal Help Americans Vote Act – which mandated certain changes be made before the 2004 elections, including full compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Sharon Harrington is Lee County Supervisor of Elections.
“We’re hoping that for some it may be a lot closer for others it might be a little for of a distance. We’re saying if anyone has a problem with getting to their polling location they should either look into coming to do early voting at any of our locations, or possibly call and get an absentee ballot and we’ll just mail the ballot to them.”
Harrington says they’ve had changes in Lee before, but never anything this massive. Affected voters will soon be receiving notification by mail. Residents have until August 7th to register for the September Primary.
Wednesday, 19 July 2006 01:00