In a move that will affect 15,000 people in the City of Delaware, the Delaware County Board of Elections will close eight existing polling locations and open three new locations.
The new sites are the Delaware County Fairgrounds at 236 Pennsylvania Avenue; Fraternal Order of Eagles at 127 E. William Street; and the Willis Education Center at 74 W. Winter Street.
The following polling locations are closing: Asbury United Methodist Church; Delaware Bible Church; Delaware District Library; District Tech Center; Mingo Park Recreation Center; New Beginnings United Methodist Church; Valleyview Friends Church; and William Street United Methodist Church.
“The re-configuring and changing of voting locations is done to provide the best possible voting experience for our voters,” said a release issued by the Board of Elections.
According to the Board of Elections website, there are 25,392 registered voters in the city of Delaware, which means the change in polling locations affects 59 percent of the voting public in the city.
Voters who live in the precincts that are affected have already received notifications, said poll worker Ali Solove during the Delaware City Council meeting on Monday, where a contingent from the Board of Elections announced the changes.
“There are changes that come along in a community that is growing that can’t be controlled,” Solove said.
Of the locations that are closing, she said one site is being sold and can’t commit to polling use; one site is being renovated; and another is a school and doesn’t want to be used in a high-profile election.
“With three locations that were going to be closing, that gave us an opportunity to look forward and see what we had in the community,” Solove said.
The new locations can accommodate more parking, Solove said. She said some of the locations that closed couldn’t provide adequate parking for both poll workers and voters.
During the Delaware County Fair, signs will indicate the new polling site inside the Merchants’ Building at the entrance of the fairgrounds, notable for having the Little Brown Jug on display in front of it. There will also be signs at the old locations notifying voters of the new polling places.
“County-wide, we have 158 precincts, with 48 polling locations. Fourteen years ago, we only had 65 precincts. That shows you how much we’ve grown,” said Board of Elections member Steve Cuckler, a Republican. “The Board of Elections doesn’t own any buildings, so we rely on the good graces of churches, community and governmental organizations to have our polling locations for Election Day.”