THOMASVILLE — Plans to move four city polling places to the Thomas County Public Library have changed.

For the March Presidential Preference Primary, polling places at Scott, Jerger and Harper schools and at the Resource Center will be used, pending state approval.

The polling places were to be moved because of concerns about handicap access, security, restroom availability and electrical needs, said Frank Scoggins, Thomas County elections supervisor.

Another concern is space for additional voting machines and related equipment now required in Georgia elections. The March primary election will be the first time the additional equipment has been used in Thomas County.

"We are listening to the citizens, and we also want to do what's best for the county," Scoggins said. "I want to be sure it's the right decision for everyone."

The elections board will make the final polling place decision.

At a Thomas County Commission meeting earlier this week, residents expressed concerns about elderly voters finding it difficult to go to the library to vote, which could result in voter suppression.

"The board of elections makes the final decision. We don't make that," Commissioner Mark NeSmith told concerned residents.

Linda Solana, election board chairman, told commissioners the board met Monday with about 20 people.

"I assure you we heard what they said," Solana said.

Scoggins said the elections board will call a meeting to address the polling place situation.

New polling places for Merrillville, Patten and Ellabelle precincts were announced earlier. Scoggins said no final plan is in place for the precincts.

Scoggins said he would like to receive comments from Merrillville, Patten and Ellabelle voters.

The elections office can be reached by calling 225-4101. 

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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