They talked about polling places & precinct boundaries.
Frederick, Md (KM) We’ve already finished with one election, but another one is on the way. Residents in the city of Frederick will be voting next year for Mayor and Aldermen.
During Wednesday’s Workshop, the Aldermen reviewed plans for six locations for polling places in the city for 2017. Alderman Josh Bokee says he’s concerned about the polling place for voters in Precinct 6, which is the Cornerstone Fellow Church at 66 Waverly Drive. For residents in the fourth, eighth and ninth as well as the sixth, that’s their polling place. “Precinct Six in Whittier votes in Cornerstone off Route 40,” he says. “To me, it’s less accessible and certainly I don’t think convenient for folks who live out in Whittier.”
He said these residents have to go up Route 40, and then co\me back on Route 15 or “snake their way around Shookstown Road” to go back home. Bokee also said that it could discourage voter turnout from these city residents, noting that turnout is already low.
Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak noted that four of the six identified polling places are churches. “Not that any of these churches have ever done anything to make me think they’re less than fair,” she said. “But I firmly believe in the separation of church and state, and I don’t think polling places should be in churches.”
City Attorney Saundra Nickols told the Aldermen that these churches have made their facilities available in the past.
In addition to Cornerstone Fellowship Church, the other houses of worship being proposed for polling places are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 1811 Latham Drive; Frederich Church of the Nazarene at 7899 Opossumtown Pike; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church at 35 East Church Street. The other two sites are the William Talley Recreation Center at 121 North Bentz Street, and Burck Street Youth Center at 413 Burck Street.
The Aldermen told their staff to bring these concerns up to the city’s Board of Supervisors of Elections, and ask their members to consider alternate polling places.
Also, the city will have early voting for citizens during next year’s municipal elections. The County Election Office has recommended residents cast their ballots early for the primary election on Friday, August 25th from 12:00 noon to 8:00 PM, and on Saturday, August 26th from 12:00 noon to 6:00 PM. For the general election, citizens can vote early on Friday, October 27th from 12:00 noon until 8:00 PM, and on Saturday, October 28th from 12:00 noon to 6:00 PM. The early voting location would be at the Frederick Senior Center on Taney Avenue.
The city’s Primary Election is on Tuesday, September 12th. The General Election is Tuesday, November 7th.
The Board of Aldermen is expected to decide on early voting and the precinct boundaries at a later date.
By Kevin McManus