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TCSS requests precinct changes

During last week’s Troup County Board of Education work session, interim superintendent Roy Nichols asked the board for permission to write a letter to the Troup County Board of Elections, asking if it would reconsider using schools as voting locations for specific precincts. 

“We’ve spent a lot of time this year trying to show our principals and school people the importance of active threat training. We have been working with all the first responders in the county about what will happen if something really tragic happens in schools and how we should respond. About the time we finish that training comes election day, and I was really concerned,” Nichols said. “All the violence we have been experiencing in America these days, it makes me very anxious to throw the doors open and invite in whoever gets in line to come into our schools. I was very concerned about that.”

Currently, there are voting precincts at Hollis Hand Elementary School, Rosemont Elementary School, Hillcrest Elementary, HOPE Academy and Troup High School. 

Former Troup County Schools are also used as precincts, as is the Troup County administration building.

“Those are facilities that currently have students where we are also inviting hundreds, if not thousands, of voters. And just because we say it’s for voters doesn’t mean everybody who gets in line has good intentions,” Nichols said. 

“I’d like to ask to again — and I know they’ve done it in the past – to see if they can’t figure out a way to help us protect our students.”

Andrew Harper, the elections supervisor, said the elections board has looked at different locations in the past and has even considered combining precincts.

Harper said it is usually best to change precincts in an odd year, since there are less elections than in even years. Precincts have to meet certain requirements, including being handicapped accessible, meeting Americans with Disability Act standards and having adequate parking. It’s also not an easy or short process, considering the number of parties that have to sign off on the move. 

Harper said the public also has to be notified at least 60 days before an election.

There were 23,913 votes cast in the governor’s race in Troup County.