The McDuffie County Board of Elections Office has a new home.
For a number of years, the office had been located in the McDuffie County Courthouse. But because of cramped quarters, Elections Director Phyllis Wheeler recently decided to have the office moved to Whiteoak Road - the building that once occupied the county's recreation offices.
"The primary reason for us moving our office from the courthouse to the old recreation office site was so we would have more room for our offices and storage space," said Ms. Wheeler. "This is something we've been thinking about doing since the recreation office staff moved out to Sweetwater Park. It's a lot more spacious over here than what the courthouse offered."
Ms. Wheeler recently sent a letter, on behalf of herself, as well as members of the county's board of elections, seeking authorization to relocate the elections office to 808 Whiteoak Road.
In the letter, Ms. Wheeler explained that the new building site allows for various election purposes, such as a multi-purpose room that is large enough to accommodate poll worker training. The new building site, she contends, also would allow a place for political candidates and media representatives to gather.
There also will be more space available for the electronic equipment necessary for day-to-day operations of the elections office, as well as when elections are held in McDuffie County.
The move began after she received tentative verbal approval of commissioners to move to the new office. The subject was officially addressed and approved during a recent commission meeting.
Ms. Wheeler pointed out in her letter to commissioners that she had addressed the idea of relocating the elections office with the proper personnel at the Georgia Secretary of State's Elections Division. The relocating of the state electronic equipment met with their approval. In addition, a pre-clearance of the new elections office, as the absentee voting site, was granted by the U.S. Justice Department.
A number of renovations are expected to be made at the new elections office site, including installing new windows, ceiling tiles and painting the outside of the building, she noted.
"We want the office to look as nice as we can make it for the people of McDuffie County," said Ms. Wheeler.
The office is staffed by Ms. Wheeler and Office Manager Christy Holley. The McDuffie County Board of Elections is made up of three members: Chairman Bill Beckum, Bobby Rogers and Dexter Lovins.
The first election to be held from the new elections office site will be held on Tuesday, July 17. Jim Whitehead, the top vote-garner in last week's special election for the 10th District Congressional seat, will meet Paul Broun, who garnered the second-highest number of votes the congressional special election.
Mr. Whitehead is an Evans resident, while Dr. Broun is a physician from Athens. Both men are Republicans.
Advance voting for the upcoming runoff election between those two candidates will begin at the county's new election office from July 9-13, said Ms. Wheeler. Hours of advance voting will run from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
For more information about the services offered at the McDuffie County Elections Office, call (706)-595-2105.