Board of Elections seeks input into possible changes to South Albemarle precinct

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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The Stanly County Board of Elections is considering three proposed changes to the South Albemarle precinct and would like the public’s feedback prior to making a final decision at its next meeting on May 2.

As part of an April 4 work session, the board discussed the process of adjusting precinct lines for the South Albemarle and surrounding precincts and looked into possible changes.

Due to the large size of the South Albemarle precinct, voters in the western end have a further commute to the polling place at Southside Fire Department than their counterparts in other parts of the precinct, according to a PowerPoint that was presented. Additionally, voters in areas adjacent to Albemarle precincts 7 and 8 live closer to those precincts’ polling places.

“The main concern of the board was the western segment of the South Albemarle precinct that wraps up and around the City of Albemarle,” Stanly County Elections Director Kim Blackwelder said. “Those voters anywhere in the area have from a 5-7 mile drive…to the South Albemarle polling place.”

While there will always be a certain number of voters located along the edge of a precinct, “it seems like that area is just an odd placement in comparison to the rest of the precinct,” she added.

Another concern, she said, is that the city limits are spilling into the South Albemarle precinct, the majority of which is located outside of Albemarle in the county.

The three changes being considered include:

  • Splitting the west portion of South Albemarle (504 voters) between Almond (+183) and Albemarle 10 (+321). An additional 137 county voters would move into Albemarle 10 precinct. This would leave South Albemarle with 1,465 registered voters, Albemarle 10 with 1,705 and Almond with 2,672.
  • Moving 43 voters from South Albemarle into Albemarle 8. This would leave South Albemarle with 1,926 registered voters and Albemarle 8 with 1,687.
  • Moving 186 voters from South Albemarle into Albemarle 7. This would leave South Albemarle with 1,783 registered voters and Albemarle 7 with 2,417 voters.

There are requirements that must always be met in regards to altering precinct lines, including making sure precinct boundaries coincide with Census block boundaries, consist solely of contagious territory and consist of territory and population “that allows for efficient and accurate administration of elections,” per the PowerPoint.

During its May 2 meeting, the Board of Elections can choose to adopt all of the changes, some of them or none. The meeting will be at 4 p.m. inside the Joshua J. Morton Meeting Room at the south end of Stanly County Commons.

There are 22 precincts in Stanly County, eight of which are primarily located in Albemarle.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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