Morgan County’s election headquarters is relocating later this year to a larger building in Madison.
Morgan County’s Director of Elections Jennifer Doran announced the news last week during the monthly election board meeting, after suggesting the change in locale to county commissioners in 2018.
“We are super excited about the new space and looking forward to having elections in our new building,” said Doran. The new space gives us a lot more parking, which is a concern during early voting.”
Currently, the Morgan County Board Elections and Registration (BOER) office is located at 434 Hancock Street, a few blocks up from the Morgan County Courthouse. Election officials share the building and parking lot with the Morgan County 4-H extension office, which has caused problems during early voting and election days.
The election headquarters will move to 237 N. 2nd St., behind the Morgan County Citizen and across from the Brady Inn, just a few blocks away from Town Park in Downtown Madison. The building was previously home to Ferst Readers, which vacated the premises last month.
“The new building is 2,000 square feet for just our office and will provide us with about 50 parking spaces,” said Doran. “The current building only has about 20 spaces and we have to share it with another organization.”
The need for a new building became apparent back during the 2018 Midterm election, when voter turnout overwhelmed parking facilities at the election office and the 4-H office’s events and needs overlapped with elections.
“The need was growing in 2018, and by time the last presidential election came about in 2020 with record early voter turnout, it was undeniable we needed more space,” said Doran. “We have had this problem forever, but the last presidential election just exacerbated it.”
In addition to the lack of parking at the current building, Georgia’s new Ballot Marking Device voting system and accompanying equipment take up more space than the old electronic voting systems. Between the cramped space inside and the limited parking outside, county commissioners agreed to search for a new building that could adequately accommodate the county’s election office.
“It’s great to see this finally come to fruition,” said Doran. The election office is set to relocate by the end of June of this year. This will give election officials time to set up and settle in before the August qualifying period begins for the 2021 Municipal elections in November.
“We have quite a few local races happening this November and we want to be prepared for the qualifying process and early voting in our new building,” said Doran. “We think voters will appreciate the new facility and be able to provide even smoother elections in the future.”