Several Bell County precincts will be voting at new locations for the first time in several years. Due to the continuing conflict and controversy involving the Bell County Volunteer Fire Department, the Bell County Board of Elections and the county clerk decided to find new locations for the citizens in certain communities to vote.
Those who used to vote at the Colmar station will now vote at Graceway Missionary Baptist Church. The people who used to vote at the Calloway station will vote at Page School Center.
Brownies Creek residents will be able to vote at Brownies Creek Missionary Baptist Church and the Clear Creek community will be able to vote at the Clear Creek Baptist Bible College.
The decision to change the polling locations came about three weeks ago, according to Bell County Clerk Becky Blevins. The event that set the decision in stone was the BCVFD advertising stations for sell.
The Board of Elections did have notices placed on the stations stating they were used for polling places, but Blevins said the board wanted to find permanent locations for people to vote no matter what the outcome of the closed stations is.
“We wanted to make sure voters had a place to vote that was safe,” said Blevins about the reason behind changing the locations.
Blevins stated the whole process has been “a tremendous amount of work.” The clerks office had to notify voters of the change by written notice, survey new facilities to make sure the were handicap accessible and to make sure there was enough room for voters and voting machines. The office also had to make sure the new buildings had a telephone.
“We appreciate everyone in the community that helped us,” said Blevins about the employees at the new facilities.
Blevins did say the citizens in the Mayfield community can contact the office at 337-6143 if they have any suggestions of a closer voting location in their area.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010 ext. 208.