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County Hears Pitch To Convert to Voting Centers

RISON – Two officials who oversee elections in Cleveland County pitched the idea of the county switching over to “voting centers” during the Cleveland County Quorum Court’s regular monthly meeting Monday night.

County Clerk Jimmy Cummings and Cleveland County Election Commission Chairman John Appleget told the quorum court that creating “voting centers” simply means county voters will have the ability to cast their votes at any polling site in the county on election day rather than having to vote only at their designated precinct.

Appleget said the new digital voting machines the county received last year is the primary reason for making the offer to make the switch to voting centers.

He explained that the voting machines are all connected through digital signals to a database that contains every ballot in the county. Regardless of where the machine is located, Appleget said it can pick up any ballot for any voter registered in Cleveland County, regardless of where they live or where they vote.

Cummings told the court that going to voting centers would also help his office meet the state law that requires there be at least one polling location in each ward of a municipality. By that standard, the county would have to provide three polling sites in Rison and two in Kingsland. He said that isn’t practical with both cities being so small.

However, Cummings said by having voting centers, the county would be exempt from that law.

To read the full article, see the August 9, 2017 print or e-Herald edition of The Herald.

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