Glynn County’s Board of Elections decided to relocate a polling place in the Burroughs-Molette voting precinct and plans to relocate more at its next meeting.
The Burroughs-Molette polling place was moved to Zion Baptist Church during the school’s reconstruction. That polling place may return to Burroughs-Molette, but Elections and Registration Supervisor Chris Channell said the board should consider moving it to the Roosevelt Harris Senior Center.
Schools across the country are heightening security to protect students, Channell explained, and officials with Glynn County Schools have asked the board to move polling places out of school buildings whenever it can.
State law only stipulates polling places should be in public buildings and within the voting precinct for which it is designated when possible.
The best option for the Burroughs-Molette precinct is the senior center, he said. Board member Sandy Dean volunteered to talk to the Brunswick city government about it.
The board voted unanimously to move the polling place into the senior center if the city agrees, and back to Burroughs-Molette if it doesn’t.
At its next meeting, the board will consider moving a polling place from Glynn County Fire Station No. 2 to St. William Catholic Church on Frederica Road.
The polling place had been moved to Glynn County Fire Station No. 2 from St. William during renovations to the church. Now that renovations are complete, he said the polling place should move back.
Channell also recommended combining the polling places for two precincts, currently located in Satilla Marsh Elementary School and Marshes of Glynn Church, into Bay Harbor Church. Bay Harbor sits close to the line between the two precincts and is big enough to accommodate the volume of voters the two precincts would draw.
It would also save money, he said, because a combined polling place would require fewer poll workers to manage.
For more information on polling place locations, visit glynncounty.org/elections.
In other business, the board unanimously voted to extend early voting hours during all 2020 elections.
Early voting takes place during the three weeks before Election Day in primary, runoff and general elections. Normally, polls are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and are open one Saturday during the three weeks.
During elections in 2020, all three early voting polling places will remain open until 7 p.m. on Mondays. Those locations are the Office Park Building, 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick, the Ballard School, 325 Old Jesup Road, and Glynn County Fire Station No. 2, 1929 Demere Road on St. Simons Island.
Channell said extending early voting by two hours will have very little impact on the board’s budget.
The 2020 elections will serve as a test run. If enough people take advantage of the extended hours, the board will consider making the hours permanent.
Board members also approved a new public comment policy.
Anyone interested in addressing the board at a public meeting can sign up before the meeting in the board of elections’ office — 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick — or during the public comment period at the meeting in question.
Only three people can speak per meeting, and each will be allotted five minutes. The policy was approved unanimously and took effect immediately.
The board also talked about an upcoming public education campaign.
New voting machines will likely start rolling out in September to counties that aren’t involved in the trial run, Channell said. As soon as they get them, the board will begin preparing informational material and scheduling meetings with civic organizations and town halls to show the public how the machines work.
The campaign itself will likely take place through January and February, in the lead up to the March presidential preference primary.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 10.