Owensboro residents voice concerns over polling locations

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Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - With less than one week until the 2022 midterm elections, NAACP representative Reverend Rondalyn Randolph hosted a forum to voice concerns after a booking issue took away a major voting location.

“There was no forethought about the impact it would make on those communities that were utilizing the sports center as their voting location,” Rev. Randolph said.

Rev. Randolph and other leaders are hoping this problem doesn’t happen again. The usual 15 locations in Daviess County upgraded to 18 polling locations.

But they removed one of the largest locations, the sports center off of West Parrish Avenue in Owensboro.

“There was no replacement in that same general area,” Rev. Randolph said.

The Kentucky State Board of Elections released the polling locations at the beginning of July.

Since then, Secretary of State Michael Adams had not heard of any complaints regarding changes made by local-level offices.

“No one has called our office to complain about this plan and no one did when it was developed months ago,” Adams said. “It’s democrats and republicans at the local level that design what election day and really voting looks like in their county.”

Rev. Randolph says they could have used a nearby school to replace the voting staple, such as Cravens Elementary.

“I have nothing against the county schools but the city schools have always been used as voting locations in the past,” Rev. Randolph said. “None of those schools were considered. I just think that there is work to do.”

Those living just off West Parrish Avenue in Owensboro, where the sports complex voters live, will need to travel a little further for this year’s election.

Rev. Randolph and local leaders say they are actively working to ensure this does not happen in future elections.

“They’re going to be the voice speaking for you, you should want to have a voice in saying who that person is,” Rev. Randolph said.

Many organizations will be offering free transportation on election day this year, including the City of Owensboro.

Secretary Adams said he expects voter turnout to be high this year, projections have it around 45%.

Click here to find polling locations in Kentucky.