County proposes combining Northside and Thompson voting precincts

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, May 8, 2013

NATCHEZ — The U.S. Justice Department will have to approve it, but if the Adams County election commission has its way future elections will be decided with one less voting precinct.

The election commission sent a letter to the Adams County Board of Supervisors requesting that the county consolidate the Thompson and Northside voting precincts, a request the supervisors voted to honor.

The Thompson precinct is at the Thompson Head Start Center on N. Union Street, and the Northside precinct is at Frazier Elementary School on George F. West Boulevard.

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Under the proposal, the consolidated precinct would be at Northside’s current location, but would be renamed the Frazier Precinct.

Election Commissioner Kayte Dukes, who oversees the two precincts, said the Thompson precinct has been problematic for some time.

It’s difficult to meet the needs of handicapped voters there, she said, and voters often have trouble discerning the layout of the building when attempting to vote.

“(Frazier school) is easier to find, and when you go (there), when you are handicapped we have people who can go out to you,” she said.

“We want to make it as easy for people to vote as we possibly can.”

The current Northside precinct has 1,061 voters attached to it, while Thompson has 864.

“District 4 is the only district with five precincts,” Board of Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said. “When you look at Northside compared to Thompson, there is not even a fourth of a mile of difference.”

“We also have trouble trying to man those precincts on election days because people don’t want to take off from their job.”

Dukes said that if the Justice Department approves the consolidation, it would be put into action right away. She also said that the election commission would make sure that everyone who would be affected by the change would be notified.

“We aren’t just going to put a notice in the newspaper,” Dukes said. “For everybody that is going to have to be moved to go to Frazier, we will send out notices and the reason why (they’re being moved).”