Cumberland Electoral Board looks for new precincts

Published 11:34 am Thursday, June 22, 2023

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The Cumberland County Electoral Board gave an update at the Tuesday, June 13 board of supervisors meeting. 

During the monthly updates, the electoral board is usually not included in the local department reports. However, this month Thomas Alvis, chair of the electoral board, came to update the board and county residents on what the board does and some changes that need to be made before the November election. 

Every voting locality in Virginia has an electoral board made up of three members that are appointed by the circuit court judge. This board runs on a three-year term and oversees the general registrar and everything in the local, state and national elections ranging from voter registration to the upkeep of the machines. 

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Another part of the board’s job is regulating voting locations in all five precincts, which was the request Alvis brought to the board. 

“We are responsible to designate the voting location, to inspect it to make sure it meets ADA (Americans with Disabilities) qualifications and to ensure that each location is adequate for election day voting,” said Alvis.

Precincts three, four and five either meet the ADA requirements or have an easy temporary fix and are ready for the next election. 

Making a change

The voting location for precinct one is no longer available as the Cartersville Rescue Squad location is no longer available to use. Alvis requested that the location be moved across the street to the Cartersville Fire Department Building, 1600 Cartersville Road. If approved, the 1,518 registered voters in that precinct will receive adequate notification before election day to let them know where and when to vote. The cost of this change will be around $1,200 and Alvis asked the board to appropriate funding to the budget for the changes and informing the voters. 

Precinct two is also in need of a new location for the next election. Voting was previously at the Cumberland Fire Department on Old Buckingham Road. The location is no longer available as a voting site and a new location has not been chosen yet. 

“Options are pretty limited,” said Alvis. “I have spent adequate time the past couple of weeks driving through our precinct, which happens to be the precinct in which I live, and looking at all possible buildings. There are some there that do not meet ADA qualifications and will be quite expensive to bring them up to that point.”

According to Alvis, there are a few available options but some have said they are not interested and he’s waiting to hear back from others.

The electoral board and the board of supervisors have until Friday, September 8 to finalize the decisions and work for these two new precincts. This will allow the electoral board to have enough time to give residents in those precincts the required 60-day notice before the November election.