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Monday, November 1, 2010 - 1:05pm

Fewer Precincts For Columbus Voters

Voters in Columbus and Muscogee County will have fewer precincts to cast their ballots Tuesday. That's because of the county's plan to go from 48 to 28 polling places, which has drawn criticism.

Muscogee County had good early voting turnouts in 2008 and wants to save money. And officials say moving some precincts out of some schools and into churches also eliminates safety concerns for students.

Originally, the west Georgia county wanted the plan in-place for July’s primary. But federal Justice officials held up implementation after opponents objected.

State representative Carolyn Hugley says cutting nearly-in-half the number of available polling places severely affects a person’s right to freely cast their vote.

“That principle is more important than any other thing that we’ve been talking about. In my mind it’s more important than saving a few dollars. They’re saying that they don’t think it’s going to adversely affect voter turnout, but we will see.”

Hugley says her biggest concerns are confusion among elderly voters, and poorer voters with less access to transportation to get to new precincts.

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