Polling changes in District 3

Published 10:59 pm Thursday, May 27, 2010

As the polls open Tuesday morning, residents in District 3 will need to remember they won’t be voting at their usual place.

The polling place for both city and county District 3 will be changing from Park Memorial United Methodist Church to the city of Troy’s Parks and Recreation Department Sportsplex on Enzor road.

Troy City Councilman Jason Reeves, representative for District 3, said Park Memorial United Methodist Church has been the polling location since after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

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That’s because the polling place was located at the U.S. Army Reserve Center prior to that, but the military required them to change locations.

Park Memorial United Methodist Church allowed the city of Troy to place a trailer on its grounds for voting purposes and eventually opened its Fellowship Hall to the event, Reeves said.

But in spring 2009, Park Memorial asked the city find a new location.

Danny Arnold, pastor for Park Memorial, said the church’s decision to no longer be a precinct was influenced by inconvenience.

“It was inconvenient for some of the things were trying to do,” Arnold said. “It took a day out of our calendar. “

Reeves said Park Memorial has been very gracious, allowing the city of Troy to use their facilities for this long.

“They never had to let us use it. They were very kind,” Reeves said. “We appreciate the time they let us use it.”

According to Reeves, there are several things to consider when choosing a polling station.

“The polling station must be in the district,” Reeves said.

“It has to be accessible to the public, handicap accessible and have plenty of parking.”

He also said the facility should be high profile, meaning that most people should know where it is.

The Sportsplex has passed all these requirements.

Probate Judge Wes Allen said they were alerted in the spring of 2009 the church no longer wished to be a polling station.

After that, the necessary steps were taken to have the new precinct approved by the Department of Justice in Washington.

Allen said that the process of changing the precinct was not something that happened overnight.

“The county commission petitioned to get clearance from the Department of Justice, which took several months,” he said.

“We got the letter (clearance) at the end of 2009.”

Allen went on to thank Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and the Troy City Council for their part in the whole process.

“I want to thank them for making the Troy Sportsplex available for the voters of Pike County,” Allen said.

He also said that he is optimistic about the new polling station.

“It’s going to be a great fit,” he said.