Voters go to wrong polling place early Tuesday morning

7:09 p.m.

Fairview Road Church of Christ had a steady stream of voters early Tuesday morning. Before 8:30 a.m. about 200 to 250 people had already voted. Stan Benton, a poll worker at the church, said they were estimating 1,500 to 1,600 voters for the entire day, a little above average.

But about 15 people were turned away because they were at the wrong polling place. Almost all of them needed to go to Fairview Elementary School.

Benton said voters went to Fairview Elementary in 2006, then the church opened up as a voting place in 2008, and now because of redistricting, some were sent back over to the elementary school this year.

“The other thing too is that some people have voted in the same place for so long,” Benton said. “They’re just used to it and they do it without thinking.”

For those who went to the wrong location, Benton said workers at Fairview Road Church of Christ made calls to obtain a voter’s correct polling place. He didn’t think every polling place made that extra effort.

There were other reasons that added to the confusion.

“One, we have a big population, there’s like 8,000 people in this area,” Benton said. “We have four voting places in a 12-block area because of the population…The other problem is the church names are so closely related. We have Fairview Community of Christ Church, Fairview Road Church of Christ, and that’s what part of the confusion is too.”

One man was not allowed to vote because he did not have a photo ID.

Benton has been volunteering on Election Day for about four to six years and is a retired history and physical education teacher.

— Eric Holmberg

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