After a large number of residents took advantage of the option to vote early in the last general election, Rockdale County elections officials are considering consolidating eight of the county’s 18 voting precincts in an effort to save the county $14,000 in administrative costs per election.
Rockdale had the highest turnout of early voters in the state last November with 53.62 percent, or 27,172, of active registered voters casting ballots prior to Election Day. Elections Superintendent Cynthia Welch said Thursday that several counties are considering precinct consolidation due to the popularity of early voting.
Welch said her analysis of the past three general elections has identified four precincts to be considered for consolidation: The Lakes to the Sheffield site, Olde Town to the Conyers site, Smyrna to the Rockdale site and Stanton to the St. Pius precinct. By consolidating those eight polling places the county will save $3,500 per precinct in administrative costs.
“The cost outweighs the inconvenience factor,” Board of Elections Chairman William Todd said during the board’s meeting Thursday.
The board will further discuss the consolidations during its next regular meeting on June 14 and at least one public hearing will be held on the topic before to an official vote to close the four precincts is made by the elections board.