In Alabama’s rural Marengo County, there are six fewer voting locations this year than in 2010, a decrease of about 24 percent.
“We have recently combined some (polling places) and done away with others,” said Barry Hunt, a board of registrars member in the Black Belt county that now has 19 physical places for people to vote. “I haven’t heard any complaints about it here, but definitely some (voters) have to go farther than they did,” Hunt said.
Across the state, Alabamians will be going to fewer polling places on Tuesday than they did in 2010, according to a comparison by BirminghamWatch of precincts for the June 2018 primary and the 2010 general election. Almost 100 polling places were shed by 25 counties. There are 2004 precincts in the state. Some county officials said it was population shifts that caused closures. Others said it was condemned buildings or requests from property owners.
Voting rights advocates, meanwhile, are calling for the restoration of the Voting Rights Act to protect people’s access to polls, particularly for minority voters. Read more.