HomeNews5 voting precincts moving in Madison Co. next year

5 voting precincts moving in Madison Co. next year

The Madison County Election Commission met on Tuesday and made a couple of significant decisions.

In the wake of the Tennessee state legislature’s decision in April to require public comments in every public meeting, the Commission had to adopt its official policy.

There was some discussion about how many people should be allowed, and how long they should be allowed to speak.

There were recommendations made by the state that some of the commissioners thought were requirements, but the Commission had the authority to adopt its own policy and even amend it later when necessary.

Charles Byrd made the recommendation to make sure the limit on the number of persons be even since they are the Election Commission and a partisan issue would suggest that be necessary.

Wendy Trice-Martin said she was concerned about making sure everyone in Madison County had an equal opportunity to speak or be represented during a contentious time. She brought up the fact that there are 29 precincts in the county and that maybe that number would be relevant in the discussion.

They ultimately decided to limit the number of speakers to eight, with each speaker having a maximum of three minutes apiece.

Chairman Mike Bledsoe did mention the possibility of ensuring an equal number of Republicans and Democrats speaking on the same issue at some point in the future if that would be deemed necessary.

The Commission also approved the relocation of five voting precincts starting with the primary elections in March of 2024.

Those five locations are Spring Creek moving to The Ledge, which is at the corner of Highway 70 and Highway 152, the Jackson-Madison County Schools Central Office will move to the UT Ag Extension at the corner of Airways Boulevard and the Highway 45 Bypass, Browns United Methodist Church is moving to the fire station across the road, North Side High School is moving to Victory Worship Center on Old Humboldt Road near the intersection with Oil Well Road and Northeast Middle School will move to Parkway Baptist Church, which is almost right across Christmasville Road from the school.

“It’s best that we get all the precincts we can out of schools because some schools have parking issues and others have space issues, especially if class is in session on any election day,” said County Election Administrator Lori Lott. “And also, with security regulations saying they need to keep their doors locked, that means we need to pay one more worker at each of those precincts to stay at the door and open it for voters throughout the day.

“So it’s best for multiple reasons for us to get out of schools where we can.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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