An election update was given by Sherry Simmons. Simmons explained how precinct location issues for individuals with disabilities have been resolved by working with the West Virginias Disabilities Rights Organization. Simmons stated that; “Voting is one of our nations most fundamental acts. It is a right. Yet, for so long many people with disabilities have struggled at our polling places.”
Some of the issues that the polling locations faced were inaccessible ramps, door handles, and gravel or incomplete parking areas. On August 26th through the 28th, exterior assessments were conducted on all of Tucker county’s precincts. Tucker County was given 60 days to change and address the issues; to ensure that all citizens are given accessible access to all of Tucker Counties 11 polling locations. All of the precincts have been reviewed and voters have been notified of the changes they can expect for the Primary Election.
There are four precinct locations in Tucker County that have been relocated to facilities that can ensure that voters with disabilities can vote with the least burden upon them.
Precinct 1 in Hendricks and Precinct 2 in Hambleton have been relocated to the Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School. This area has a large parking lot, with accessible parking, and handicap ramps into the building. Voters will be able to enter the building at the gymnasium entrance of the building. Simmons commented that; “This is to ensure that people have a safe and an accessible area to vote in”.
Precinct 10 in Sycamore Grove and Precinct 24 in Saint George Methodist Church were also relocated to the Saint George Medical Clinic Pavilion beside Saint George Medical Clinic in Saint George. The Saint George Medical Clinic Pavilion will better serve those with disabilities, with its large and accessible parking area.
Simmons went on to apologize for any inconvenience that these changes may cause but asked to please put any concerns aside for the benefit of individuals with disabilities being able to use their right to vote. The changes made to all of the precincts were made by federal and state guidelines.
Simmons also reminded the public that Early Voting in Tucker County starts on April 27th at the Tucker County Courthouse Annex and is open to all registered voters in Tucker County.