New polling  site concerns

Published 7:04 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

I recently received a card from the Isle of Wight County Voter Registration Office informing me that due to redistricting, my congressional district and voting location had changed. Previously, we had voted at First Gravel Hill Baptist Church on Route 10. Now, we are to vote at Bethany United Methodist Church.

Having never been to that church, I took a ride to see where it was. While it is just over three miles from my location in Wrenns Mill Estates, I was surprised to see that as I traveled, I quickly went from a two-lane with centerline paint to a more narrow, unlined road, eventually across a one-lane bridge and around some very sharp curves where you could not possibly see any oncoming traffic.

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In short, it was, in my view, a rather risky trek. Upon arrival, I was surprised to find that the church has rather limited parking. I called to express my concerns to the registrar’s office and was told the decision on voting locations had been made and could not be changed.

In addition to safety, one of my concerns is that the trip may cause some to simply not vote. I asked the registrar what other options we had and I was informed that for any election, you can go to the registrar’s office up to 45 days in advance of the election date and vote there.

Neighbors, if you also have been notified of this change in voting location, I recommend you make a short trip to determine if you are comfortable with the drive. Remember, on Election Day, the traffic would likely be greater than on other days. If you feel the roads are a bit challenging, then head to the registrar’s office prior to Election Day and cast your ballot there.

The next election is the Republican Primary for the 2nd Congressional District. The date is June 21.


Gary Hess