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Many Baldwin voters will be casting ballots at new polling places

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Historically, the Daphne Civic Center has had more registered voters than any other precinct in Baldwin County.

But many people who have voted there in the past will be casting ballots elsewhere in Tuesday’s primaries.

It is part of a significant adjustment to precincts approved by the Baldwin County Commission over the past two years. The commission has redrawn some precinct lines, changed some polling places and created new precincts. There now are 52 precincts, up from 48.

County Commissioner Joe Davis said the changes are an effort to prevent polling places from being overwhelmed in the state’s fastest-growing county.

“As we grow, we’ve had to add capacity and add spaces, because the one thing we don’t want to do is people have to stand in line to vote,” he said. “We need everybody voting.”

The county notified affected voters through the mail. But people who missed that or just want to make certain where to vote can go to the Alabama Secretary of State’s website. They can confirm their polling places by entering their names or addresses.

The changes altered the boundaries of the following precincts:

  • Precinct 15 in Bay Minette took in parts of Precinct 4 in Crossroads.
  • Precinct 45 in Spanish Fort West took in parts of Precinct 7 in Spanish Fort East.
  • Precinct 23 in Belforest took in parts of Precinct 43, which votes at 3 Circle Church in Fairhope.

The map combines two precincts:

  • Stockton and Vaughn in northern Baldwin County merged into Precinct 12. The Stockton Civic Building is the polling location.
  • Two different Loxley precincts into one polling place at the Loxley Civic Center. That is Precinct 9.

The map divides the following precincts:

  • Precinct 20, using Ridgewood Drive in Lake Forest as the boundary, creating the new Precinct 8 that includes the homes south of that line and extending to Belforest. The Eastern Shore Baptist Church will be the polling place, changed from Daphne High School, and will include voters who cast ballots there, as well as some who used to vote at the Daphne Civic Center. The precinct now has 8,681 voters, while the Civic Center has 7,131, down from 10,699 during the 2020 election.
  • Precinct 42 in downtown Fairhope along Fairhope Avenue. The southern part of that area forms the new Precinct 52, with the rest remaining as Precinct 42. The Fairhope Civic Center remains the polling place of Precinct 42 and has 4,865 registered voters, down from 9,046 in 2020. The polling location for the new Precinct 52 is First Fairhope Baptist Church on South Section Street.
  • Precinct 47 in downtown Foley, using U.S. 98 as a north-south boundary. The new Precinct 3 has St. Margaret of Scotland Parish Church on West Laurel Avenue as the polling location. Foley United Methodist Church on North Pine Street remains the polling place. It has 3,333 voters, down from 8,357 in 2020.
  • The map creates a new Precinct 51 by moving Ono Island out of Precinct 41. The polling location is Harriett Cockrell Center. The remaining part of Precinct 41 has 7,935 voters, down from 8,915 in 2020.

The Homestead Village of Fairhope ballroom now serves as the polling place for Precinct 49, relocating from Fairhope Avenue Baptist Church.

Davis said by reducing the number of voters in the largest precincts, people should not have to wait as long to vote during high-turnout elections.

“It was because the sheer number, and the number of people based on all the growth that we have, creates a disproportionate growth in those districts.”

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