Opinion

Polling location changes are affecting voters

To the editor:

The Henry County Auditor has moved the polling place of the four Mt. Pleasant precincts from Cottrell Gym to Faith Christian Outreach Church. Thus Mt. Pleasant residents who vote on Election Day and have walked, biked or perhaps even ridden a power seat to the polling place at Cottrell Gym now have two new voting requirements. They now need a functioning vehicle and a valid driver’s license in order to vote. Or a good amount of time to get to the new polling place.

While it is feasible to reach the new polling place on foot, the only marked crosswalk at Washington and Grand puts one on the north sidewalk along Washington and one would have to get across four lanes of Washington Street traffic at Haynes Street in order to get to FCOC. It would perhaps be safer to walk on the south sidewalk along Washington and when that sidewalk ends at Cherry, continue on the grass, get across Grand without a marked crosswalk, stay on the grass by the Medium Security Unit and arrive at FCOC.

With a bike or a power seat one could avoid crossing Grand by using the underpass on Henry but subsequently would face the same four lanes of Washington Street traffic at Haynes.

Even with polls open until 9 p.m., voting after day-shift work is pretty much not an option for persons without a car.

The polling place decision has the effect of reducing the number of voters because of financial constraints, time needed and/or safety concerns. Voting changes should make it easier to vote, not harder.

Ed Kropa

Mt. Pleasant