Posted tagged ‘Alamance’

Election day runs smoothly at Alamance precincts

November 5, 2008

With 37 precincts in the county, finding appropriate locations for voters is a concern. Usually though, the relationship between the location and voting officials is amicable.

Students learn about elections firsthand Smith Elementary School

According to Rebecca McGinnis, the curriculum facilitator for Smith Elementary School, the voting didn’t interrupt the usual school day.

“All we really had to do was adjust some of our specialty classes like P.E. and monitor the halls,” McGinnis said. “Other than that though, the kids weren’t affected.”

“But they were well-aware there was going to be an election,” she said. “They knew their behavior was going to be important and they were on their best behavior.”

While Julie Payne, an exceptional children support educator, agreed that things ran very smoothly, she voiced concern for the children’s safety.

“I think it puts the school at a liability,” she said. “Even though it’s a public building, with students and voters coming and going there is a large liability. And it’s a safety issue for voters and students.”

With unfamiliar faces around the school Payne said she thinks it would have been better if the students hadn’t been at school. But since it was unavoidable, the school made as many efforts as possible to maintain high safety standards.

There were extra walkie-talkies in case there was a safety issue. The administration was also moving around the hallways more than usual, with extra people monitoring the hallways and foyers where the voters were waiting.

Even though safety was a concern, Payne said she and the students were glad the school was a voting location.

“They were all very excited about being part of the election,” she said. “It was great for our kids to see it happening. It is history in the making.”

She said that teachers and students will follow up on the election in the morning, looking at newspapers and holding discussions.

Chief Judge at Smith, Gladys Hill, said the school was very helpful to election officials.

“This school has been good,” Hill said. “They’ve done everything they can and tried to make it safe.”

She said they kept the children out of the hallway where the voting was as much as possible, and in turn, whenever there was a line of voters, the election officials ensured that the line went outside rather than into the school’s halls.

Church members share space with Nov. 4 voters

At Holly Hill Baptist, the line was only long in the morning, so it was not much of an inconvenience for the members or employees of the church.

“We do it for every election,” said Shaun Greeson, worship and discipleship pastor for Holly Hill Baptist Church. “It’s not affected us that much. They lined up down the hall one time earlier but it hasn’t affected us otherwise. We just used the back door.”

According to the election officials, the church was very conducive to voting.

“They just pretty much gave us the run of the mill,” said Anne Fortney, an election official.

She said the church is a good location for handicapped voting. Fortney is in charge of curbside voting, which is used to help disabled voters.

Someone who drives the voter can go inside the voting area and get a form for the voter. Then, an election official takes the form to the car and assists the voter.

Democracy heats up at Elon Firehouse

Another precinct was set up in the basement of the Elon Fire House. It in no way hindered the ability of the firefighters to do their job.

“We had to put up tables and they used some of our chairs,” said Billy Andrews, an engineer. “We had to cone off in front of the trucks. If they park in front of them, we’ll just have them towed.”

Other than helping set up, Andrews said the regular routine at fire station was not interrupted. Rather than walking through the station, voters walked outside around to the back entrance.

Dee Atkinson, the chief judge at the firehouse, said the fire fighters were very helpful in setting up the voting area.

“First of all, they worked out their schedule to meet our voting schedule,” Atkinson said. “They provided a clean building and assisted in setting up to accommodate the voting procedure. They also allowed for signs to be posted on department property and moved their trucks to allow more room for parking.