Armory voters may get temporary polling location for runoff

Published 7:37 pm Monday, September 8, 2008

Voters who cast their ballots at the Old National Guard Armory may have another, temporary voting location for the Oct. 7 run-off.

The Selma City Council has asked the city attorney, Jimmy Nunn, to seek approval from the U.S. Justice Department to move the voting precinct over to the Memorial Stadium — the other box for Selma’s Ward 1 — on Election Day.

City council members raised concerns about long lines and traffic snarls the last hour of voting at the armory because of the Central Alabama Fair, which will be under way.

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The fair’s organizers had suggested voters use rooms at the armory. Organizers also suggested voters should put placards in their windshields to prevent their diversions to fair parking that evening.

“I’d move it,” said Ward 1 Councilman Cecil Williamson. “I would move the polling place.”

Nunn said he would attempt to get a letter to the Justice Department this week, requesting approval for the change.

Ward 1 voters will see only the run-off for council president on the ballot. That position is a citywide race. The only other run-off election is for the Ward 4 council seat.

Councilwoman Geraldine Allen of Ward 4, one of the two candidates for the council president’s seat, suggested the move.

“I could see a big traffic jam,” she said. “They may not come until they get off work.”

Hisel agreed.

“I think we all the confusion that surrounds the Central Alabama Fair and the Little Miss Central Alabama as many people show up, it would deter people from voting, therefore, I think we do need to move it.,” he said.

The council proposes to set up two separate polling places at Memorial Stadium, provided no games are scheduled for that Tuesday.