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Putnam Election Commission Consolidates Four Precincts

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Election Commission Consolidates Four Precincts

Changes coming to Putnam County election precincts after the Election Commission voted to consolidate four precincts.

The commission voted to combine and move precincts in four districts: District 12, District 8. District 5 and District 10. The affected precincts include Algood In and Out, Boma, Dry Valley, and Sycamore. Chair Phil Adams said this comes as a result of a poll worker shortage, exacerbated by the state mandate to supply an equal number of Republicans and Democrats at each location.

“Second, reduced voting locations would reduce expenses to the county and in turn the voters,” Adams said. “We’re always looking to have a tight rein on our budget. A lot of our places have a rental or a cleaning fee, plus we have the staff at each one of those.”

The Algood In and the Algood Out precincts will now be in one location at Algood Elementary School. Adams said that the two precincts are already next door to each other, so it was logical to combine them.

The Boma voting precinct will be moved to Cookeville High School. The two locations are approximately five miles apart and a 9-minute drive on Highway 70. Adams said there are just 875 registered voters for the Boma precinct, and combining it with a precinct at Upperman High School still would not equate to the larger precincts in the county.

In District 10, the commission voted to move the Sycamore voting precinct to the Hyder-Burks Pavilion location. Finally, the Dry Valley precinct will move to the Cookeville Community Center.

“The community center, I take my kids out there to play tennis, and they recently redid their parking lot and had redone the building as well so it’s a quality building,” Commissioner Michael Detweiler said.”Dry Valley School obviously is one of the oldest facilities we have and the bathrooms there are pretty terrible.”

The commission also discussed two other potential changes that would affect the Bangham precinct and the Burks Middle School precinct. Those decisions will be made in 2025.

“You’re looking at all the amount of cards we have to send out, and a certain percent will come back, and that point we have to send confirmation,” Administrator of Elections Michele Honeycutt said. “It’s a long process when we do a mailing, and I’m thinking all of this right before we start issuing petitions.”


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