Frederick not ready for early voting in 2013 election -- Gazette.Net



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Frederick officials are not ready to pull the lever to make early voting happen in the city’s 2013 election.

Anne Leffler, president of the city Board of Supervisors of Elections, told the Frederick Board of Alderman at a public hearing March 21 that the cost and time needed to allow early voting would be too much.

“Physically, it’s impossible, even with the help we’re getting from the county,” she said. “I’d love to see it happen four years from now, but it’s expensive and very, very time consuming.”

The aldermen discussed logistics for the upcoming election, including the potential for early and absentee voting as well as the locations of polling places. The city currently has absentee voting but no early voting.

During the hearing, Leffler presented information about the upcoming election, details of which are still being finalized.

She said the William R. Talley Recreation Center, one of the city’s polling places suggested for early voting, had logistical issues, such as other events in the space, a lack of parking and trouble getting election judges for the extra days early voting would require.

Frederick will conduct primaries for the mayor and five aldermen seats Sept. 10. The final election will be Nov. 5.

Alderman Michael O’Connor (D) said the city should allow any resident to vote via absentee ballot because it could serve as a way to facilitate early voting.

“The city should let anyone vote absentee for any reason,” he said. “That would resolve a small piece of the early-voting issue by simply allowing anyone who wishes to get a ballot.”

The city’s absentee ballot law allows residents to vote absentee if they are absent on the day of the election or prevented by disability or confinement from voting on the day of the election, City Attorney Saundra Nickols said at the meeting.

The aldermen unanimously approved precinct locations for areas annexed since 2009.

Those 12 annexations were assigned precincts as follows:

• Both Crum Farm annexations as well as the Thatcher Farm will be in Precinct 10, on the city’s north side.

• The Keller and Sanner properties, Precinct 2, to the northwest end of the city near Tuscarora Creek.

• The Spring Bank and Lee properties, Precinct 12 to the northeast near Worman’s Mill.

• The Summers Farm, Precinct 4 on the city’s southwest.

• The Gladhill property, Precinct 3, to the east of the city.

The board also unanimously approved the six polling places for voters, dropping Grace Community Christian Church, which only served Precinct 6, in favor of the Burck Street Youth Center, 413 Burck St., which will serve Precinct 1’s 3,748 voters.

Other locations include:

• The Church of the Nazarene, 7899 Opossumtown Pike, which will serve 4,150 voters in Precincts 2 and 10.

• Evangelical Lutheran Church, 35 E Church St., 2,464 voters in Precinct 3.

• Cornerstone Fellowship Center, 66 Waverly Drive, 14,000 voters in Precincts 4, 6, 8 and 9.

• The William R. Talley Recreation Center, 121 N. Bentz St., 6,000 voters in Precincts 5 and 11.

• The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 199 North Place, 6,600 residents in Precincts 7 and 12.

tlaino@gazette.net