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Spencer County voters who cast ballots at the Little Mount, Little Union, Ashes Creek and Taylorsville fire houses in the May primary election will vote there again this fall.
The Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Protection Board of Trustees agreed to make its fire houses available to the Spencer County Board of Elections at its meeting Monday morning.
“If they don’t use the fire stations, it will be a big problem to the voters,” Trustee G.W. Washburn said during Monday’s meeting.
Trustee Bill Greenwell agreed.
“First of all, it will be a big problem for county government,” Greenwell said, mentioning that the county clerk would have to send out notifications to alert citizens that the polling places had changed.
“Also, it’s going to cause some problems for the citizenry who vote,” Greenwell said, citing travel times. “The firehouses are pretty well placed.”
Fire Board Chair Glen Goebel asked County Clerk Lynn Hesselbrock, who attended the meeting, for her thoughts on the matter.
Goebel asked if Hesselbrock had in fact received permission from the Spencer County Board of Education to use Spencer County High School as a polling place if necessary.
She said yes.
Hesselbrock said the high school would be as good a place as any other to serve as a polling place.
Goebel asked if it would be equally as good as the fire houses, to which Hesselbrock responded that, having never used the school, she couldn’t say.
Trustee Ray Wilson Armstrong said he worried that moving the polling places, thereby making some voters travel a greater distance to vote, would make “less voters present themselves.”
“The issue we have seems to be with the sheriff,” Fire Chief Nathan Nation said. “Lynn can’t control what he does, I understand that ... We’re not trying to tell anybody what to do. Just treat us fair. Don’t single us out.”
Nation added that the fire houses do have security devices installed.
Greenwell made a motion to make the fire houses available to the election board, and Nation seconded that motion.
The motion passed unanimously, and the board told Hesselbrock they would get their response to her in writing as soon as possible.
At a special meeting of the Board of Elections on Tuesday morning, Hesselbrock passed out a copy of a letter from Goebel.
“The Spencer County Fire Protection District Board of Trustees voted today to allow the fire stations to be used as polling places,” Goebel wrote in the letter dated Sept. 10. “We would request that to the extent the election board has control of that all polling places be treated the same as it relates to security.”
The Board of Elections voted unanimously to use the fire houses.
“This way we don’t have to disrupt any body,” board member Steve Hesselbrock said.
The election board also agreed to run advertisements in The Spencer Magnet notifying citizens of the polling locations leading up to the November election.