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Two polling places could change in next election

There's a primary election June 8 with the general election on Nov. 5.
As Culpeper voters head to the polls in a few months, Mary Dale, chairman of the Culpeper County Electoral Board, hopes that some residents will be heading to new polling stations.
She presented her request to move two polling places at the February Board of Supervisors meeting. The Board gave it their unanimous approval. Now the issue heads to a public hearing slated for Tuesday, March 5, at the board's 7 p.m. evening meeting.


Jeffersonton to Jeffersonton
Residents voting at the Jeffersonton Community Center wouldn't have to go far. Dale would like that polling station moved to the Jeffersonton Baptist Church which has a new fellowship hall.
Marie Rossi, an 18-year resident of Jeffersonton, applauds the proposed move.
“Whenever you have a big election, the parking is horrific,” said Rossi of the present location. “It's a mess.”
“It would be so much better to go up the street,” added Rossi, “the church has a bigger space.”
“When you have cars lined up [Jeffersonton Community Center] and it's dark, it's not safe...this will be a safer move as well.”

Culpeper High School to American Legion
Chairman Sue Hansohn questioned why the electoral board wanted to move the Cardova station from Culpeper County High School to the American Legion building located on Route 229.
“It's a dingy space,” said Dale, “and we're a little squashed.”
More importantly for Dale is that their space at the school, while not interfering with school activities, is in an alcove in a corridor not friendly for long lines of people.

The American Legion building has good parking, better telephone service, a good piece of grass in the front where campaigners can set up, and it is handicap accessible.
“It gives us more room to spread out,” said Dale.
School security is another concern that Dale predicts will dictate that, in the future, polling stations are not set up in schools.
“I think the wave of the future is not to hold voting stations in schools,” she said.
If the Cardova polling station is moved from Culpeper County High School to the American Legion Building, Emerald Hill Elementary School will be the only school left in the county to host voters.
Dale hopes to one day find an alternative for that location as well.

As far as cost, the electoral board does not pay to use the high school. In the case of the American Legion building, a $175 fee would be required per election for the use of the facility.
“This is a good year to make the change,” said Dale. “We'd like to get these changes approved before the primary in June so that new voter registration cards could be issued.”
While Dale had the podium in February, she added one more caveat to her request for the move of the two polling stations.
She indicated that at the Brandy Station polling location the address would stay the same but they would like to move the voting operation to another building at the same site. That issue could likely be handled as an amendment if the other two moves are approved.



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