Long Waits at Local Polling Locations

By: Melissa Warren Email
By: Melissa Warren Email

Voter turnout in Warren County was at 61 percent, with about 44,000 voters at the polls. The Warren County clerk says that's lower than the last presidential election... but you wouldn't have sensed a low turn-out if you were standing in line at rich pond elementary... the last precinct to be reported.

"One precinct, and of course that was Rich Pond. Rich Pond did have long lines, and we tried to help as much as we could with the long lines, learned alot from the long lines," said Warren County Clerk Dot Owens.

Over two hours... that was what many voters at the Rich Pond Elementary polling location experienced yesterday. One man even brought in a chair.

"I slid that chair along for an hour and 25 minutes... and then I voted. One man told me that I could probably sell my place in line for a pretty good profit when I got up close, and I said I should sell my chair and see if I could make some money off of it," said voter Neel Dillard.

He wasn't alone. Like Dillard, one man made several trips to the polls in hopes of finding a shorter line.

"I didn't think about it being that big of a line when I went the first time, but I waited 15 minutes and something else to do so I left and came back, but it wasn't any better," said voter James Kitchens.

Owens explains why some lines within polling places can be much longer than others.

"We try to put a large precinct with a small precinct... This is a Fire Marshall thing. We can't have alot of people in one building," said Owens.

Owens says the solution is more polling sites, and more precincts. She hopes to have these open by the next election in 2014. Owens says new schools and churches will probably be the new polling sites, and she hopes as more schools are built, more precincts will open in growing areas.

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