The Christian County Board of Elections held its first meeting of the year on Thursday and discussed issues from the previous election and possible improvements for future elections.
“Election Day, this past November was an issue in certain locations in Oak Grove and at the Bruce Convention Center. As a board we need to figure out a way that we can do our part to make sure the voters feel safe and make sure there is no intimidation in any location,” said County Clerk Melinda Humphries.
Likishia Young spoke about the numerous problems and encounters she had on Election Day at the Oak Grove Community Center, and how she felt the environment had become more aggressive as a result of the election.
Humphries proposed establishing a new ordinance through Fiscal Court to ensure the safety of the voting workers and citizens.
The board intends to upgrade the voting equipment possibly next year to vote on demand using a system that will simplify things for the election officials and poll workers according to Humphries.
“Once the individual signs into the iPad, it will print out a barcode; you scan the barcode, and it will print out the ballot. So, it takes the responsibility off the election officer by mistakenly giving the wrong ballot,” said Humphries.
The board meeting’s final topic of discussion was the proposal to reduce low traffic voting centers. Humphries stated that the reduction is being considered due to low turnout in certain locations and where to use the voting equipment and officers.
“The governor’s race is usually a low turnout unfortunately- and we do need to come up with something to promote and increase voter turnout for all elections,” said Humphries.
Sheriff Tyler DeArmond and many other citizens expressed the importance of keeping the voting locations the same.
“I suggest leaving the current voting centers alone for this election cycle, perhaps even adding one additional center that will target industrial workers or the workers in the commerce park. Closing voting locations right now will take away from the goal of increasing voter turnout,” said Nikki Chambers, President of the Hopkinsville League of Women Voters.
Humphries opened the meeting by informing the board that the documents requested by the state for their election audit were ready.
She also announced that Democratic Board of Elections member Jim Gardner had resigned, and that Barbra Morris would fill his unexpired term. Mrs. Morris, on the other hand, announced her intention to resign from the position, believing that someone from the younger generation should take over.
The board will be able to make a decision about voting locations at the next board meeting on February 16.
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