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Polk elections office rush to find new polling places after 30 close

Polling Place Sign
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 19:07:00-04

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Some Polk County residents will see changes to where they cast their votes this election year.

“We’re knocking on doors in certain locations, asking people who have larger buildings, if they would serve as polling locations,” said Polk Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards.

Edwards said her office is scrambling to replace 30 polling locations, which are no longer accepting voters in upcoming elections, many of them churches.

“I think it might be a reflection of the fact that politics is getting much more polarized. I think perhaps some of these locations are confusing the government elections office, which of course is nonpartisan and here to serve taxpayers and they’re confusing that with politics in general,” Edwards said.

To reflect Polk's rapid growth, for the first time in a decade, the county is adding five new precincts. The elections office has been working for months, to update the map based on statewide redistricting.

“Where you have the green line that’s the new district, and where you have a pinkish line or orange color line that’s the old one. Every inch of the county seems like it has changed,” Edwards said.

The combination of new precinct maps and closed polling places means some residents will see a change to where they have voted for years.

“Before they go vote on election day, to double-check their polling location. It will be on their voter information card and their county supervisor of elections website,” Edwards said.

The office of elections is updating each voter's record. Voters will receive a new voter information card, before the August primaries.