WILLIAMSON – The Mingo County Commission approved voting precinct changes for 27-1, 27-2 and 30 at Wednesday’s regular meeting.
The changes impact voters in the Ragland and Delbarton areas of Mingo County.
Precinct 30 will still vote at the Christian Fellowship Church of God in Ragland. However, the name of the church recently changed and voters will go to a different building on the church property. Tina Abbott, Administrative Assistant for the Mingo County Commission, explained the precinct changes for 30 stating, “On precinct 30, it isn’t necessarily a change of location. It is still the same church but due to the pastor passing away, they have changed pastors and the name of the church. It is still the same place.”
Commissioner John Mark Hubbard further clarified issues regarding precinct 30 saying, “They are just going from their fellowship hall to their Sunday school building which is still on the same lot.”
The other precinct changes impact voters in the Delbarton community. Currently, there are 1,174 registered voters in Delbarton. The old Burch Elementary school had been used as a voting precinct but the school closed at the end of the last school year.
The County Clerk’s Office had been in contact with the Mingo County Board of Education prior to Wednesday’s meeting to discuss continuing the use of the facility in the November election. Abbott stated, “The County Clerk’s Office called and asked if they could still have the voting precinct there. I called the Board of Education’s office and they do not know if they are going to change hands prior to the November election. It could possibly go into the town of Delbarton’s name prior to the November election. They don’t know if they are going to be able to keep the power on either. That is another concern.”
Abbott continued, explaining that the Carewood Facility in downtown Delbarton was available for use as a voting precinct. “Belinda Harness, with the Housing Authority of Mingo County, has offered the Carewood Facility to us at no charge. If the town of Delbarton takes over the elementary school building, they do not know if they can provide it for no charge. John Preece (Delbarton Mayor) said he would have to speak to the council members about that and their meeting is next week.” However, Abbott explained that the deadline to change precincts was September 9.
The commission then asked Mingo County Clerk, “Big” Jim Hatfield, his opinion on changes concerning the voting precincts. The discussion between Hatfield and the commission concerned Delbarton precincts. “I do think that the building is big enough. Anytime that you could put three precincts in one place, it is a plus for the people…They have bathrooms and they have a phone… I know without a doubt that it is plenty big enough and that is what we really need. I think this is the finest move you have ever made right here if we can just hold on to it. I just wanted to talk about it and make sure we have a phone. You know that is the law and I try to follow the law and do everything on the up and up,” Hatfield stated.
Commissioner Hubbard moved to accept the changes for precinct 21-1, 27-2, and 30. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)