Steven Jones, a Palm Coast resident and voter since 1984, addressed the following letter to the Palm Coast City Council over the council’s decision, likely to be ratified at its March 15 meeting, to reduce polling locations in the upcoming November municipal election from 21 to six. For details on the matter, see the story here.
By Steven Jones
I express to you my extreme disappointment in the action you have taken to reduce the number of locations in which residents of Palm Coast can vote on election day this year. When the city was incorporated, the number of voting locations was greater than six and registered voters had the ability to go to a nearby voting location.
The idea of reducing the voting locations from 21 down to six will condense the voting districts into a lower number of voting locations on election day. This will result in a lower number of voters actually being able to cast their votes. You may say that most people now vote in advance of the official election day. However, the issue is that voters must be provided with a voting location near their residences to ensure that they will make every effort to vote and do what each of our residents must do, decide who will represent them on the City Council.
Palm Coast was developed as a retirement community and continues to be one today. The idea of reducing the voting locations is insane.
After the city was initially formed, the city clerk was in charge of elections and for a period of time, decided to have the elections in the city, managed by the city. The Flagler County Supervisor of Elections was required to follow state law and ensure that the city followed what it was required to do properly. As the city started to grow, it chose to contract with the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections to manage the elections for the city. One of the early issues was that the supervisor of elections’ office was not within the Palm Coast’s state-certified boundary. Therefore, there was legal question of whether anyone could actually vote in the Flagler County Election Supervisor’s office per state statute. This issue was raised by Peggy Border, the supervisor of elections at the time.
It is obvious that the mayor and city council did not review previous voting history management before making a disruptive decision for our residents. Palm Coast needs to be a supportive city for all of its residents, allowing us to move forward as a progressive city not a regressive city.
Councilman Holsey Moorman has made an intelligent decision in response to the concerns of many residents by his willingness to discuss changing the pre-voting location from the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections office in Bunnell to the Community Center in Palm Coast on Club House Drive and Palm Coast Parkway. Numerous voting residents believe that the mayor and city council, as responsible elected officials, must reconsider their decision to remove voting locations and reinstate the 21 polling locations for our community to ensure the possibility of being able to vote on election day locally. Numerous voting residents require that the mayor and city council make the proper decision and change the location of the pre-voting location from Bunnell to Palm Coast. Remember, this is a City of Palm Coast election, not a county election or a City of Bunnell election.
I have been a Palm Coast resident since 1984 and have never been more than half a mile from my voting poll location since the city was incorporated in 1999.