Just two weeks before the March 8 presidential primaries, one of Harrison County's largest polling places has been moved because of a conflict with a consignment sale.
And election officials aren't happy the polling place has been moved from the D'Iberville Civic Center to the nearby multipurpose building. Some worry there won't be room for Democratic and Republican voting machines, and what's expected to be a large turnout.
A consignment sale is being advertised for the Civic Center by Twice As Nice Kids Resale on election
The decision to move the polling place apparently was made by Supervisor Beverly Martin from District 1, which includes the North Bay precinct. Martin did not respond to an email but the Sun Herald obtained an email from her to county officials.
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"I don't see this as a problem that we can't all compromise on at this late date with proper signage and such," she wrote. "I am working to remedy this situation so as to not have this happen again."
Tim Holleman, attorney for the Board of Supervisors, said he was asked to research whether it was legal to move the polling place from one building to the other. He said it was, according to the Attorney General's Office, because both places have the same address -- 10395 Automall Parkway.
Circuit Clerk Connie Ladner said she's not happy with the change because it could discourage some people from voting. North Bay, with 5,500 registered voters, is one of the county's largest.
"I don't want to end up on national news," she said. "Imagine the number of people who will walk to the door, see the sign and say I'm not going to walk 30 feet to go vote. Or I'm not going to get in my car and drive 30 feet to this other precinct, I'm going home. You know how frustrated voters get on election day.
"They usually have a great turnout. With this election it's sort of hard to gauge because it's an election unlike any other."
She said she has been asked to be on the supervisors' agenda March 7, the day before election.
"I know nothing is going to changed but I want our objections noted," she said.
Both the Democratic and Republican executive committees have protested the change as did members of the county Election Commission.
Another voting precinct in that area also will be different but that change was approved by the Board of Supervisors earlier, Ladner said. The New Popp's Ferry polling place will move from the Innovation Center down Popp's Ferry Road to the First Baptist Church of Biloxi.