Elections board looks to Durden Community
Considers adding new precinct, draw from Clacks Chapel precinct.
By Patrick Yost
Establishing a new polling precinct for members of the Durden Community took precedent last Thursday at the regular monthly meeting of the Morgan County Board of Elections.
And while the board did not vote on the issue, the idea seemed to be gathering momentum.
The concept comes, in part, after BOE member George Holt reminded the board that the community had been promised a polling precinct by past boards after its precinct was merged with Rutledge and Clacks Chapel. “My contention has always been that numbers is not the deciding factor for a precinct,” Holt said, “it’s convenience for voters.
To create a new Durden precinct, BOE members were told that approximately 690 registered voters would be moved from the Clacks Chapel district to Durden, leaving 450 registered voters at Clacks Chapel, which would make that precinct one of the lowest in Morgan County. “For reference, we’ve got 480 in Apalachee,” BOE Chairman John Milliken said.
If the board moves forward with establishing the precinct, it would also require the purchase of new voting machines.
In an unrelated discussion, the board did approve to budget for the purchase of five new voting machines.
Those machines cost approximately $2,800 each, Bobby Howington, election supervisor, said.
Holt said if the board decides to create the new precinct he has been promised volunteer labor to man the polls. “I’ve had a man say if we’ll move it back he’d work the polls for free. I don’t know if he’s serious or not. If we do it I guess we’ll find out if he’s a man of his word.”
In other BOE business, the board voted 2 – 1 with one abstaining to retain Milliken as its chairman for 2009. Board member Avery Jackson voted against Milliken and board member Helen Butler Abstained. Members Holt and Steve Burch, on a motion by Burch and seconded by Holt, voted to keep Milliken as the chair.
The board also discussed the possibility of merging Madison South and West Morgan precincts.
On a request by Jackson, the board agreed to move it’s monthly meeting from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Citing work conflicts, Jackson made the request. It was approved 3 – 0 with Jackson abstaining from the vote.