Moffat County commissioners discuss polling places

Brandon Johnson

The Maybell Public Library no longer is the polling place for the tiny town’s 400 residents.

The Moffat County commissioners voted Tuesday to move the Maybell polling place to the Maybell Community Center.

Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Elaine Sullivan and Deputy Clerk Lila Herod asked the commissioners to move the polling place to the Community Center.

“It’s a lot more accessible right now than the library,” Herod said.

The Help America Vote Act requires polling places to be accessible for people who have disabilities.

Sullivan and Herod said they were concerned that the wheelchair ramp at the Maybell library wasn’t wide enough for a wheelchair to get through.

The first election at the new polling place will be this November.

Herod also discussed eliminating the Hamilton polling place and having the 115 registered voters in Hamilton vote with absentee ballots or at the Centennial Mall in Craig.

The commissioners didn’t make a decision about the Hamilton polling place Tues-day, instead they decided to have Hamilton voters discuss the matter during party caucuses in April.

Currently, Hamilton voters can vote at Hamilton Hall every two years during partisan elections. For off-year elections, such as the election in November, Hamilton voters can vote in Craig or by mail.

If a polling place has less than 150 registered voters, Herod said the state allows counties to eliminate the polling place.

Hamilton has 150 registered voters.

“The majority vote absentee anyway,” Herod said.

Herod sent out a survey to Hamilton voters asking whether they would want the polling place moved. She got 45 surveys back, 34 yes and 11 no.

Stephanie Jeffcoat of Hamil-ton works as an election judge at Hamilton Hall and said she would like to see the polling place remain there.

“I like to meet my neighbors, that’s why I do it,” Jeffcoat said about working elections in Hamilton.

But, she said a lot of people in Hamilton work in Craig, so moving the polling place might make voting easier for them.

Jeffcoat said she and her husband were two of the “no” votes on Herod’s surveys.

“I’d like to see it stay here,” Jeffcoat said.

It costs the county about $400 to run an election in Hamilton.

Commissioner Darryl Steele said he would like to see the Hamilton polling place stay open.

“Four hundred dollars is not very much money for maintaining a tradition,” Steele said.

Steele lives near Maybell and said he understands why people in Hamilton like to have their own polling place.

“I really enjoy voting in Maybell,” Steele said. “(Voting in Hamilton) is a tradition that if we can figure out how to do it, I would like to see it continue.”

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