By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration (BOER) voted to make the Morgan County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) the polling location for the newly created Central Morgan precinct.

The BOER had hoped that the Madison Baptist Church would allow them the use of their facility as a polling place, but, since the November meeting of the BOER, Madison Baptist Church had denied the board’s request.

The use of the DFCS office as a polling place wasn’t a sure possibility for the BOER as recently as the November meeting.

Prior to that meeting, Jim Bricker, the director of the Office of Facilities and Support Services branch of the Georgia Department of Human Services (GDHS) said in an email to Kelly Beasley, the director of the Morgan County DFCS office, that allowing the DFCS office as a polling place would not be suitable according to GDHS regulations.

John Milliken, BOER member, stated that he, George Holt, BOER chair, and Bobby Howington, Morgan County Elections Supervisor, met with County Manager Michael Lamar concerning the DFCS’ denial, since the DFCS office is housed in a county-owned building. Milliken said that “the county has given us assurances” that the BOER will be able to use the DFCS office as polling place, should they see fit.

According to Holt, the DFCS office had been used as a polling place as recently as 2006. He also stated that the parking at the DFCS office is ample and that using the location as the polling place “shouldn’t inconvenience anybody.”

Board Member Avery Jackson asked if anyone from the Elections and Registration office had spoken to anyone at DFCS since their conversation with Lamar, and Holt said that Lamar had spoken to them consequently.

The board approved using the DFCS office as the polling place for the Central Morgan precinct by a 3-1 vote. Jackson was the sole dissenter. Milliken reminded the board that, pending the General Assembly’s approval of the election calendar, the first partisan election of the year would take place earlier than usual, on May 20, 2014.

David Moore, BOER member, asked the board’s permission to sit down with Howington during the next month so that they could update the office’s disaster plan protocols. The board assented, and Jackson asked to take part in the meeting as well.