Lincoln County’s Montgomery voting precinct is moving down the road
The Montgomery voting precinct in northeast Lincoln County is moving to a much more comfortable facility right down the road.
From now on, registered voters who cast their ballots at the Montgomery precinct will do so in the fellowship hall of Clear Branch Baptist Church, just under a mile down Clear Branch Lane. While the old voting hall was decrepit, the church is spacious, handicap-accessible and boasts plenty of parking space and restrooms for the public.
“It’s definitely an upgrade,” said Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield. “Clear Branch opened their arms to us. They want us to use the church.”
Lincoln County supervisors approved the precinct’s move Monday after learning the church deacons and membership had voted unanimously to host the precinct.
“It’s just a way we can kind of serve the community, the way we look at it,” said Clear Branch pastor Wayne Moak.
The move is necessary because the existing precinct building, which is privately owned, is at the end of its useful life.
“The lady who owns the building came to me and said she doesn’t want no more voting in there because the building is in bad shape and she’s scared of it,” said District 2 Supervisor Bobby Watts, who sought the church’s permission for the move.
The precinct will still be called the Montgomery precinct and voters registered to vote there do not need to take any action. The first elections scheduled for the new location at Clear Branch are for state and federal offices in June 2018.
The Montgomery move is the second adjustment to Lincoln County voting houses this year, as the Brignal and Rogers Circle precincts merged in April. Those voters now cast their ballots at the District 2 barn on Old Highway 51.
Following the Dec. 4 publication of the story “Voting precinct moving to church,” The Daily Leader learned that Lincoln County District 2 Supervisor and board President Bobby Watts fabricated a story in order to help convince supervisors to move the precinct. Supervisors voted 5-0 to do so after Watts told them the existing voting location, owned by Connie Burke, was run down and unsafe. Watts admitted he made up the details after protests from Burke.