Some Forsyth County voters could have new places to cast ballots for during the 2020 election cycle, as there are plans to add five new election day polling places and four new precincts across the county.
During a meeting of the Forsyth County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections on Tuesday, election staff members debuted plans for the five new proposed polling places and the adjustments needed for the existing district but said the current proposal was simply a starting point and could change before it was adopted.
“None of this is set in stone yet, it’s part of our discussion,” said Mandi Smith, director of voter registrations and elections. “We’ll be having information at open houses too, so we’ll be getting input, tweaks are going to be made, but we just needed something to start with.”
The addition of the new precincts would bring the county total to 20.
Below are the currently proposed polling places and districts the new precincts would come from:
• Johns Creek Baptist, 6910 McGinnis Ferry Road, out of the South Forsyth, Old Atlanta and Big Creek precincts;
• Hwy. 20 Operations Center, 1605 Canton Highway, out of the Otwell, Midway and Heardsville precincts;
• Fowler Park, 4110 Carolene Way, out of the Brandywine and Polo precincts;
• Old Atlanta Park, 810 Nichols Road, out of the South Forsyth Precinct.
The final change proposed at the meeting would move voting in northeast Forsyth’s Chestatee precinct from Central Park to the Atlanta Cricket Fields at 5325 Keith Bridge Road.
“After every major election cycle and prior to the next election cycle, we always go through and look at turnout, look where were there lines, not lines, are the polling locations still sufficient for our needs,” Smith said. “Based on that, we may or may not make changes and based on what we have the availability to use.
“In this case, after the 2018 election cycle we went through, we reviewed and we saw certain areas where we needed to make changes if we could find locations to move to.”
As staff prepared the first draft of the proposal, each precinct was required to have a physical border.
“The precinct lines have got to follow a specific boundary,” said board member Randy Ingram. “It can be a river, it can be a creek, it can be a road.”
Smith said the elections board will have the final decision on the polling places and does not need county or state approval.
Before making a decision, there will be several chances for the public to look at the plans and give input:
* Thursday, Aug 22, at Forsyth County Elections Office, 1201 Sawnee Drive, 10 a.m. to noon.
* Tuesday, Aug 27, at Sharon Springs Park, 1950 Sharon Road, 6-7 p.m.
* Thursday, Sept. 5, at Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
* Monday, Sept. 9, at Fowler Park, 4110 Carolene Way, 6-7 p.m.
* Saturday, Sept. 21, at Forsyth County Elections Office, 1201 Sawnee Drive 1:30-2:30 p.m.
The changes will be up for approval at the board’s meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1.