Macon-Bibb Board of Elections did not vote on proposed voting location changes
Board members were suppose to vote on the proposal, but decided to delay it until after the public hearing so it can review the public’s feedback.
“We don’t want to disenfranchise any voter, that is never ever the mission of the Bibb County Board of Elections office,” says Jeanetta Watson, the Elections Supervisor.
Community leaders from the NAACP and the county have been battling this proposal since it was announced two weeks ago.
“The problem with this is that it moves almost 30-plus voters around from their polling place,” County Commissioner Elaine Lucas tells 41NBC.
Lucas adds her main concern is that the board was trying to prevent African-Americans from voting. Others argue it’s not a race issue.
“I’ve circled three different problem areas which all dealt with safety,” expresses Macon resident Kelvin Chapman.
Watson told the crowd new locations were based on population. She explained, the proposed changes would reduce the number of polling locations from 40 to 26. Election officials say their goal was to cut the departments budget, saving about $45,000 a year.
“Maybe we can find some other line items to trim back as well, so over a period of time two or three years your looking at a few hundred thousand dollars,” explains Watson.
The Board also decided to follow a resident’s suggestion of making a ten member advisory board to allow community input in the proposal, hoping to satisfy both sides. Watson hopes that meeting with them and looking at the proposal will make it better.
The Board also tells us, it has not made a decision as to when it will vote on the proposal, or when the advisory board will meet.