New voting precincts finalized for Pearl River County
After months of discussion, Pearl River County Board of Supervisors approved and finalized new voting precinct locations for the upcoming Picayune School District Board of Trustees election set for November 7.
The Board of Supervisors and election commissioners began the work of consolidating the county’s 32 precincts back in August. The commissioners first proposed only 12 locations back on September 9, however many board members, like Malcolm Perry of District II, were unsatisfied with the proposal and would not vote.
Most of the consolidations are necessary to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which must be met by October of 2018, Commissioner Reggie Hanberry said. He also explained that the consolidation would additionally help minimize the cost of elections by combining precincts with lower numbers of voters.
Perry said the proposal given on September 9, did not reflect what he discussed with commissioners for his district.
On, September 21, the commissioners proposed 20 locations, which is less than the original 32, but an increase from the 12 proposed in September, however many board members felt some issues needed to be looked into before finalizing the 20.
Tuesday, the commissioners brought back the same 20 locations to the Board of Supervisors, to approve and finalize.
“This thing has been a political football. I mean are we going to do what’s the right thing, or what’s the right amount of money? Are we going to cut these things back like we need to or are we just going to bow down to the folks that don’t want to vote somewhere else,” Hudson Holiday of District IV said. “Y’all came in here and proposed we go to 12, now we’re back up to 20. I just don’t know why all the back and forth. I think I’m following your original recommendations. I’m going catch some hell about it but I’m not paying $60 a vote.”
“I’m gonna propose we do it this way, with the 20 locations,” Perry said. “I think we’ve made good efforts”
The major concern for both parties is still the lack of assurance on which locations are or are not ADA compliant.
“I will take the measures as far as looking into my two locations that are in question and make sure they are ADA compliant,” Hart said.
“We’re not knowledgeable in the rules for ADA compliancy,” Margaret Woodson said. “We’re election comissioners we’re not qualified to tell you for sure if these locations are or are not compliant.”
Many locations will need minor renovations going forward to insure that they accessible and have accessible parking and bathrooms, these renovations are the responsibility of the county and falls to the Board of Supervisors to make the decisions.
“The thing is you guys need to decide if you’re satisfied with the twenty. The details of how we’re going to get the ADA is something you are going to have to decide and discuss yourselves,” Hanberry said. “All we’re trying to do is assist with what we know and what we observe because we’re out there in the precincts all the time, we know what problems we have come Election Day.”
These new location will be active for the districts that will participate in the November 7 Picayune School District Board of Trustees election. The locations are listed below, if you are unsure of your location or have any questions you can call the County Administrator, Adrian Lumpkin, at (601)403-2300.