Speaking at the January commissioner’s meeting, Pickens resident and Pickens County TEA Party Public Information Officer Nancy Davis expressed concern that the future location of the Pickens County Elections & Registration Office (shown above) is not “voter friendly.”
According to Elections Supervisor Julianne Roberts, the office will be relocated from the Pickens County Administration Building on East Church Street into a building on Pioneer Road, formerly the Hair Hutch, beginning March 21 of this year.
Roberts said the office will continue to conduct the same functions it currently serves, including voter registration and early voting.
“I am handicapped, and there is insufficient parking,” Davis said, adding that the majority of parking at the former Hair Hutch is on a slant, and further that when backing out from the building, voters will be pulling into a main road with heavy traffic from Chattahoochee Technical College.
Davis said Pickens has a large senior voting population she feels will have difficulty at the new building because of its limited parking.
“It could be used as early voting, but it’s not a precinct,” Jones reminded. “Voters still have to go to their polling places. It’s not like we’re segregating anybody out.”
Pickens County Attorney Phil Landrum, III said the county opted to relocate the office following an ethics complaint filed in 2009 in which the county was accused of violating the prohibition against campaigning within 150 feet of a polling place.
Landrum noted that both the commissioner and the tax commissioner, elected officials, are currently officed in the administration building with the elections office, making the 45-day early voting period an issue. Landrum said it may be possible for the elections office to establish another area for early voting.
Pickens County Public Information Officer Norman Pope told Davis the elections office should have ample interior space, saying, “In relation to the size of the building, they will actually have much more square footage there than they currently have in this building, so they should certainly be able to accommodate folks as they come in to register.”
In a telephone interview, Elections Supervisor Roberts said when asked if she foresees any issues with parking or building size, “I’m not going to know much until we get in there and see how it’s going to work.”
See more news from the monthly commissioner’s meeting in this week’s print edition now on sale.