NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark — May primary elections are right around the corner and for some Pulaski County voters their usual polling locations will look a lot different. Some now fear that the changes could impact voter turn out.
For precinct 49 in North Little Rock, voters can now expect to cast their vote at the Sherman Park Community Center.
That's almost 3.7 miles from the Glenview Community Center where some voters in the area were used to.
It's because of the recent redistricting changes that the Pulaski County Election Commission had to choose between the two locations since they were both inside the same precinct.
"A lot of people involved in redistricting know that we received the information later than normal," said Melina Lemons, an election coordinator. "We had to clean up precinct boundaries and we also went in to each precinct and looked to see where the polling location was located."
She said the commission chose Sherman as the polling location because of the long relationship with the community center.
Lemons received other polling location inquiries and said requirements must be met and locations have to want to be set up for polling.
Some community members in and around Rose City in North Little Rock are wanting the commission to reconsider taking away Glenview Community Center as a polling location.
In a public Facebook post, the North Little Rock Rose City Neighborhood Association said:
Our residents need to contact the commission and let them know we need our voting precinct back in Rose City. Rose City, Glenview and Meadow Park will be all moved to Sherman Park which has limited parking and is a longer distance to drive to vote.
Linda Robinson is on the North Little Rock city council for Ward 2 and said the Glenview Community Center has the most on site parking that would be more convenient for voters.
She's afraid the polling location change will deter people from voting.
"I am very bothered about Glenview no longer being another polling area and so are my constituents. You have people from Rose City, Meadow Park, Glenview and the surrounding areas that vote at Glenview," said Robinson.
She said she spoke with Lemon telling her that she's lived in the area for the last 50 years.
North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick released a statement:
“Closing this precinct in North Little Rock would make it more difficult for many of our Ward 2 residents to take part in the voting process. We do not agree with closing the precinct at Glenview and hope the Pulaski Election Commission will reconsider.”
Lemons said there's a public board meeting planned for people to meet and discuss, but the deadline for locations has already passed for the May primaries.
"Maybe there's a polling location that can meet the requirements, that can accommodate us and that can commit to being a polling location for the whole year," said Lemons.
She said the next public meeting will be 5:30 pm next Wednesday, April 6 at the Pulaski County Regional Building.
She's encouraging people to come out to discuss locations for the November elections.