County doesn’t approve request to fund second voting precinct in Hogansville

Published 4:23 pm Thursday, May 27, 2021

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The Troup County Board of Commissioners once again took no action at their Tuesday work session on the request to fund an additional voting precinct at St Paul AME Church in Hogansville.

The decision for no action came after a motion died at Thursday’s meeting. The commission had to decide on whether or not to approve a $4,000 funding request that would’ve paid for legal advertisements and to mail out new voter cards. Costs to update the church for the necessary parking, electrical and accessibility renovations would be up to the church, according to church member Willie Cameron.

The board had tabled the topic at its last two board meetings. It was tabled the first time to gather more information and then to wait on Hogansville to approve the precinct first. Hogansville officially approved it a few weeks ago.

“We don’t believe it is time to put it there yet,” Chairman Patrick Crews said. “The growth is not there.”

Hogansville’s current voting precinct is at the Hogansville Public Library. If the church had been approved, Hogansville’s voting precincts would essentially be split by East Main Street, with the citizens to the south going to St. Paul and the citizens living north going to the library to vote.

Lonnie Hollis, Vice Chair of the Troup County Board of Elections and Registration, said that the plan with the extra precinct would be to prevent citizens who live on either side of the track from having to cross.

Board of Elections Supervisor Andrew Harper noted at the May 4 meeting that there are about 4,000 people who are registered to vote in Hogansville, but that includes both voters in the city limits and voters in the unincorporated county.

There are 14 total precincts in Troup County, and Harper said that Hogansville is the third or fourth largest precinct as a result of Mountville’s precinct closing a few years ago.

At that meeting, Harper added that the ongoing cost for the precinct would amount to $2500 per election day.

Near the end of Thursday’s meeting, Commissioner Lewis Davis made the initial motion to deny the request for the funding due to the concern that the board was “being asked to fund a precinct that hasn’t yet been established.”

With the establishment of the second precinct in limbo once more, Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz voiced his disappointment at his board’s decision not to move forward.

“The county has an obligation to provide voting precincts, and we need one in Hogansville,” Stankiewicz said.

He added that Hogansville was not going to give up on the second precinct and would send someone to speak to the board or he’d go to the next meeting himself if he had to.

The county will not meet Tuesday, as it held its meeting on Thursday instead of a work session.