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A council-appointed task force is studying ways to more efficiently conduct elections in Roanoke.
The Roanoke Times | File 2012
Complaints about the wait to vote, as illustrated by this line at William Ruffner Middle School, led Roanoke officials to suggest combining precincts.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Roanoke City Council wants to hear what the public thinks about the idea of reducing the number of voting precincts, and has scheduled public hearings March 28 and April 9 to find out.
The hearings are meant to help the council's Election Precincts Task Force review a proposal from the city Electoral Board to cut the number of precincts from 32 to 19.
"We'll find out whether we should go forward or go back to the drawing board," Registrar Lavern Shepherd said.
The board proposed reducing the number of precincts last year, hoping to reduce costs and distribute voting machines and election officers more efficiently.
The proposal followed extraordinarily long lines and delays at many polling places in Roanoke during the presidential election.
But after a public hearing in November, the council decided to get more input.
It is up to the city council to redraw precinct lines, although any changes would have to be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act.
The March 28 and April 9 public hearings will both begin at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, fourth floor, Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building, 215 Church Ave. S.W.
To see the Electoral Board's proposed realignment, go to: http://bit.ly/WptKFD.
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