Saturday, January 20, 2018
Politics

Elections supervisor outlines proposed voting changes in Brooksville

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson told Brooksville City Council members Monday night about plans to consolidate four city voting precincts into a single polling place and designate the South Brooksville Community Center as an early-voting site.

Anderson touted the proposal, which she expects to bring to the Hernando County Commission in October, as a way to save about $3,000 per election and increase early-voting access for the city's 4,829 registered voters.

The plan calls for eliminating Precinct 11, at the South Brooksville Community Center, and Precinct 26, at Clover Leaf Farms, and folding those voters into Precinct 10 at the Jerome Brown Community Center on Election Day. Brooksville residents who now vote at Grace World Outreach Church, just outside the city limits, would also be moved to the Jerome Brown center.

In addition, noncity voters who now cast ballots at the Jerome Brown center would be relocated to precincts outside the city.

The elimination or consolidation of precincts has been a growing trend in recent years. Last year, the voting site at the Community Activity Center in downtown Brooksville was dropped and moved to the Jerome Brown center because parking was limited.

Aside from the cost-saving benefits of not having to create multiple ballot styles, Anderson, who was elected supervisor in 2012, said that having a single city precinct would help alleviate potential mistakes at the polls when municipal elections are mixed with county, state and federal elections.

"We're looking for ways we can make more efficient use of our limited resources and still have elections run smoothly," she said.

With recent elections suggesting a growing preference for early voting, Anderson said, she saw the need to designate the South Brooksville Community Center as an early-voting site that would be open eight hours for eight days during major elections. The new site, she said, would eliminate the need for voters to come to the Hernando County Government Center, which is often crowded, for early voting.

Three other early-voting sites are planned, she said — two in Spring Hill and one in Ridge Manor.

Anderson said that voters affected by the changes in precincts will receive updated voter information cards, and that all voters will receive information about early voting and how to request an absentee ballot.

In coming weeks, Anderson said, she will meet with residents in other communities to discuss the possibility of combining additional voting precincts.

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

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