Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Much to the chagrin of some Carrington voters, the voting precinct there has been combined with Guthrie’s for future elections, starting with the upcoming primaries Aug. 7.
“Combining polling locations is an issue being faced by counties all across Missouri,” said County Clerk Denise Hubbard. “Lots of counties are doing that. When counties and other entities are faced with budget shortfalls and are trying to work with election judges, sometimes it is necessary.”
The new unified voting precinct will unite the Carrington precinct’s 691 registered voters with Guthrie’s 410, having them vote at Guthrie Community Church on State Road Y.
“We did it to reduce election costs for the county and other entities that pay for that,” said Hubbard. “Another reason is to increase handicap accessibility; it’s a requirement by state law to make sure everything is handicap accessible. The new location is more handicap accessible and will be better to the voters.”
Some Carrington residents, such as Lynn Carrington and Kate Flemington, disagree. Carrington, an ancestor of the town’s founders and local historian, said that he found out about the precinct change when his friend’s daughter tried to register to vote in Carrington and that the changes would deprive the town of its heritage.
“Our first election was in 1822, under the oak tree on Route J,” said Carrington. “You’re depriving a community of its identity, especially one that’s been there 125 years, a tradition. It’s wrong.”