Thousands of Cobb voters will cast ballots at new precincts or voting locations when Georgia holds its presidential primary March 24.
The county has split three precincts and moved polling locations for nine others from schools to churches and other buildings. Janine Eveler, Cobb County’s elections and registration director, said 50,063 voters have been affected by the changes.
Eveler said the county has sent certified letters to 40,514 people who will vote in new locations and to 9,549 assigned to new precincts. Voters will be sent new precinct cards, and residents are urged to verify their registration status and polling location before voting by visiting www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.
The county is moving polling locations because school security measures could affect voters on Election Day, Eveler said.
“That’s not the environment for voting that we want,” she said.
More than 35 polling places have moved to new locations since the last election, the county said. These newest revisions were approved Jan. 14 by the County Commission.
The three precincts that were divvied up include Dobbins 01, Bells Ferry 03 and Smyrna 3A. The Dobbins 01 precinct, which is located west of Cobb Parkway and north of Windy Hill Road, was split to create the new Dobbins 02 precinct. The new precinct will host voting at Calvary Baptist Church of Smyrna. Dobbins 01 voters will continue to vote at Windy Hill Community Center.
Bells Ferry 03 precinct, which is generally between Bells Ferry Road and Canton Road, was divided to form the Bells Ferry 04 precinct. Voters in the new precinct will vote at Shiloh Hills Baptist Church. Bells Ferry 03 precinct will cast ballots at Noonday Baptist Church.
Finally, the Smyrna 3A precinct, which includes areas around Windy Hill Road, Atlanta Road, Concord Road and South Cobb Drive, was split to create the Smyrna 3B precinct. Voters in Smyrna 3B will vote at Shiloh Seventh Day Adventist Church. Smyrna 3A precinct voters will cast ballots at Smyrna Community Center.
The county created more precincts to ensure lines at the polls will remain as short as possible when there’s high voter turnout, such as is expected during the upcoming presidential election, Eveler said.
Eveler said people will always have questions and concerns when changes are made to their voting routine.
“You’re never going to make everyone happy,” she said.
Lisa Cupid, the only county commissioner who voted against the voting changes, said she believes the Board of Elections should have placed more emphasis on opening more early voting locations. She said the county should have taken more time to explore the ramifications of any changes and learn more about the Elections Office’s strategy behind implementing these changes.
“There’s a good reason why we have an arm’s length (relationship) with them because we don’t want undue influence,” she said of the Board of Elections.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.