Jackson County commissioners recently did their part to make sure voters have a place to cast ballots for the May 3 primary election.
The list of polling sites they approved for the 30 precincts includes three less locations than two years ago, which was the last time there were countywide elections.
“We’re down to 21 polling sites now,” county Clerk Amanda Lowery said while discussing changes recommended by the county election board. Lowery is a member of that board along with Democrat Jack Spurgeon and Republican Tom Terkhorn.
Voters affected by those changes will receive a postcard about the changes in the coming days, Lowery said.
The biggest change involves combining standalone polling sites for Jackson 3 South and Jackson 4 South precincts into one site, Lowery said. Jackson 3 South voters previously voted at Seymour Christian Church at 915 Kasting Road but will now vote at Zion Lutheran Church at 1501 Gaiser Drive along with Jackson 4 South voters.
Lowery said the move is part of a broader effort in recent years that has been successful in combining polling sites and taking them out of schools because of safety issues.
The board, however, has been reluctant to move to voting centers in the past because of the size of the county and the number of polling sites in rural areas, she said.
Lowery said next year when there is no election might be a time to take another long look at the idea of voting centers. Any such change, however, would require an in-depth plan be put in place, she added.
A second change approved by commissioners involves having voters in Vernon South precinct vote with Vernon Crothersville precinct voters at First Baptist Church at 401 E. Howard St.
“There is plenty of room at the church, and it is a good polling site,” Lowery said.
In the past, Vernon South voters cast ballots at the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department at 200 Moore St.
“They were a stone’s throw apart,” Lowery said.
A third change involves having voters from Brownstown 1, Brownstown 2 and Brownstown 4 precincts vote at the courthouse at 111 S. Main St. Until the municipal election in November 2015, Brownstown 1 voters cast ballots at Brownstown Nazarene Church, while Brownstown 2 and Brownstown 4 voted at the courthouse. There is no Brownstown 3 precinct.
The Brownstown 1 precinct was moved to the courthouse for the municipal election, and the move is something the election board would like to keep in place to provide consistency for voters in that precinct, Lowery said.
In a related matter, Lowery told commissioners she had received requests from some of the candidates for the 9th Congressional District race to put political signs outside the absentee/early voting sites.
She said she told those candidates it was something that was not traditionally allowed.
Commissioners President Matt Reedy told Lowery he felt like that was the right answer to give candidates.
Political signs are allowed at the polling sites on Election Day.
Precinct, location, address
Brownstown 1, Jackson County Courthouse, 111 S. Main St., Brownstown
Brownstown 2, Jackson County Courthouse, 111 S. Main St., Brownstown
Brownstown 4, Jackson County Courthouse, 111 S. Main St., Brownstown
Brownstown East, Jackson County Courthouse Annex, 220 E. Walnut St., Brownstown
Brownstown West, Ratcliff Grove Christian Church, 1989 N. State Road 135, Freetown
Carr, Medora Christian Church, 76 George St., Medora
Driftwood, Vallonia School gymnasium, 2459 W. Commerce St., Vallonia
Grassy Fork, Tampico Fire Station, 5358 S. County Road 450E, Tampico
Hamilton, Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department, 6843 N. County Road 400E, Cortland
Jackson 1 East, Calvary Baptist Church, 1202 N. Ewing St., Seymour
Jackson 2 East, The Point Family Center, 311 Myers St., Seymour
Jackson 2 West, The Point Family Center, 311 Myers St., Seymour
Jackson 3 North, American Legion Annex, 414 W. Second St., Seymour
Jackson 3 South, Zion Lutheran Church, 1501 Gaiser Drive, Seymour
Jackson 4 North, First Baptist Church, 505 Community Drive, Seymour
Jackson 4 South, Zion Lutheran Church, 1501 Gaiser Drive, Seymour
Jackson 5 East, American Legion Annex, 414 W. Second St., Seymour
Jackson 5 North, First Baptist Church, 505 Community Drive, Seymour
Jackson 6 North, The Point Family Center, 311 Myers St., Seymour
Jackson 7, Jackson Superior I Courthouse, 1420 Corporate Way, Seymour
Owen, Owen-Salt Creek Volunteer Fire Department, 5752 N. Cleveland St., Kurtz
Pershing, Freetown Community Center, North Union Street, Freetown
Redding East, Reddington Christian Church fellowship hall, 10516 N. U.S. 31, Seymour
Redding-Seymour City, Calvary Baptist Church, 1202 N. Ewing St., Seymour
Redding West, Peter’s Switch Church of the Nazarene fellowship hall, 9528 N. County Road 760E, Seymour
Salt Creek, Houston School, Houston
Vernon Crothersville, First Baptist Church, 401 E. Howard St., Crothersville
Vernon North, Edmundson Mechanical Service Inc., 2289 S. U.S. 31, Crothersville
Vernon South, First Baptist Church, 401 E. Howard St., Crothersville
Washington, Dudleytown Conservation Club, 5936 E. State Road 250, Brownstown