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Jewish Polling Site Goes Lutheran: Palm Coast’s Precinct 9 to Merge Into Precinct 22

| May 2, 2011

Shalom to polling, temple board of directors says.

The 2,000 Palm Coast voters registered to vote at Temple Beth Shalom on Wellington Drive—also known as Precinct 9—have to move voting location. In the next election requiring all county precincts, they’ll be voting in Precinct 22, which happens to be the Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran Church at 101 Pine Lakes Parkway, about 1.6 miles away from the synagogue.

They’ll also be doubling the size of that precinct, to 4,184 registered voters, going by today’s counts. The Flagler County Commission approved the change on Monday.

The reason: During the 2010 election, Temple Beth Shalom, a synagogue, told the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections that it would no longer be a voting site, as it has been for many years. “Their membership is declining, many of their members are older,” Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks told the commission, “to use their facility is unique. They have to have somebody there in their kitchen, because they prepare the food there. The poll workers are not permitted to bring food in that establishment.”

After the 2010 elections, many voters changed party, registered for the first time or moved, which generates new voter information cards that have to be mailed out, presumably with the correct precinct number.

Precinct 22 is contiguous. Weeks says that using electronic voting identification systems, used during early voting, would enable the supervisor of elections’ office to accommodate voters “without any lines or problems, that type of thing, which would save us money, rather than creating an additional precinct.”

Precinct 9, in sum, will no longer exist, and all Precinct 9 voters will now be Precinct 22 voters. Redistricting after Census numbers are in by June may change boundaries yet again.

“It’s my goal to get it done in fall of this year, or at the very latest winter of this year,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said of redistricting.

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