Washington County may see a decrease in the number of polling precincts

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Washington County residents may soon get some new voting equipment. In return, they may lose some of their voting precincts.

At the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, Supervisor of Elections Carol Finch Rudd proposed eliminating four to six of the 16 total voting precincts in the county.

She said some of the Commissioners have approached her over the past two years, asking for a reduction in precinct numbers.

Rudd said that with early voting and vote by mail numbers up, there haven't been as many people going to the polls on election day.

She said Washington County would not be the first to do this.

"I believe Holmes County cut theirs in half and I think Jackson County probably did something similar to that as well, several years back for the same reasons," Rudd said. "It was a cost-effective move and we just don't have those people turning out on election day solely anymore because early voting has become so popular."

Rudd said if they cut down the number of polling precincts, they would save money on new equipment. The equipment would allow for results to come in 15 to 20 minutes after polls close.

She said they would try to make the switch as convenient as possible for Washington County voters.

The Board appointed Commissioner Tray Hawkins to work with Rudd and her staff on the downsizing process.