Shelby County Election Commission holds open houses on precinct changes
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County election leaders want to make sure you know where to cast your vote in upcoming elections.
Redistricting changes led some polling places to close this year, so open houses were held at precincts across Shelby County Thursday.
Our Action News 5 crew stopped by a few precincts in the Memphis area that usually have large turnouts during elections.
Poll workers at those locations say they only saw one person Thursday. Early voting and primary elections are quickly approaching, and election officials say they don’t want people to miss out.
The Shelby County Election Commission held open houses at each of it’s 143 voting precincts Thursday.
To alert voters of polling location changes after Tennessee legislators re-drew new redistricting maps.
“We had to change a lot of precincts to match what the legislative bodies had done,” said Administrator of Elections for the Shelby County Election Commission Linda Phillips.
Redistricting lead the Shelby County Election Commission to close more than 30 precincts. The Shelby County Voter Alliance partnered with the Commission to raise awareness about the changes.
“We’re phone banking,” said organizer with the Shelby County Voter Alliance Ian Randolph. “We’re doing canvassing. Everything that you would do for a candidate, we’re doing for the election commission to let people know about the changes.”
Some Memphis precincts that normally see a large voter turnout for elections had hardly any foot traffic for Thursday’s open house. Phillips hopes voters will challenge the trend of low voter turnout for primaries... she’s urging voters to show up for early voting and primary elections in May and August.
“I think it’s more important to vote in your local elections because your county commission and your assessor and your county mayor have a whole lot more control over your life than whose president,” said Phillips.
The Election Commission began sending out postcards to Shelby County voters Thursday to let voters know where your current or new polling place is.
Early voting for the state and county primary election starts next Wednesday.
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