Commission approves precinct changes

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023

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In a special public hearing meeting on Monday, the Chambers County Commission passed two resolutions to relocate the Sparkling Springs and Lakeview Voting Precincts. 

The meeting was held for the public to voice any comments or concerns on the relocations of the precincts. However, no members of the public came forward during the meeting. Both resolutions passed unanimously.

The precinct at Sparkling Springs is the smallest precinct in the county by number of voters with only 72. After speaking with members of that community, Probate Judge Paul Story said that while some were sentimental about the old voting precinct they understood the need to relocate.

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“We’ve had armadillos we’ve had bees in the wall. We’ve had bats in the ceiling, we’ve had leaks, I mean it was in disrepair… there’s sentimentality, but overall they understand the need for us to move and have been supportive.”

The precinct also lacked adequate heating and air, bathrooms, and ADA wheelchair accessibility. Sparkling Springs precinct will be relocated to Mountain Springs Baptist Church and renamed Mountain Springs Precinct. Mountain Springs Baptist Church is situated between Daviston and Wadley on County Road 62.

Similarly, a resolution was passed to relocate the Lakeview precinct, at Lakeview Fire & Rescue, to the Lanier Baptist Church, which will be renamed the Lanier precinct. The new polling place will be in the church’s fellowship hall. 

The Lanier Baptist Church is a quarter mile from the Lakeview precinct. The move was initiated because of the lack of parking and maintenance issues at Lakeview. Story added there were some issues between the administration of the facility and poll workers during past elections. 

The new Mountain Springs and Lanier precincts will have 12-year leases with the county at $250 a year. This means the locations will be precincts through at least two full election cycles. 

With both precincts relocating to churches, County Attorney Skip McCoy said a stipulation of the agreement was that the voting be done in a common room within the churches with “no semblance of any type religious activity.” This is why they are dropping the “Baptist Church” from the official precinct names.