GALVESTON — Galveston’s next election might have local voters reaching for a map.
The City Council on Thursday approved the locations of the eight polling locations that will be used on the May 10 election.
Of the eight locations that will be placed on the island, five will be in locations that were not used in during the 2012 city election.
Voters will continue to be able to use the Alamo Elementary School, the Galveston Independent School District administration building and the L.A. Morgan Elementary School as polling locations this year.
The other locations that will be used are the Galveston County Courthouse, the Seaside Baptist Church, Rebecca Sealy Hospital, Weis Intermediate School and The Church of the Living God.
City Secretary Janelle Williams told the council that the locations did not exactly match the recommendations the council had made to the Galveston County Election Office at its Feb. 13 meeting’
“The county went through their process, and they designated the final polling locations,” Williams said.
The council had asked the county to consider 10 locations on the island, but the county’s proposal came back with just eight.
Williams said that the county did not wish to use the Gulf Breeze apartment building on 61st Street or the Transitional Learning Center at 1502 Postoffice Street.
At the February meeting during which the polling locations were discussed, Chief Deputy County Clerk for Elections Bill Sargent told the council that some buildings that had been used in previous elections were no longer desirable because of access and Internet connectivity issues.
District 1 councilwoman Cornelia Harris-Banks said she had some initial concerns about the locations limiting certain voter groups, such as senior citizens, from being able to access the polls.
“People are comfortable with where they’ve been before,” Banks said.
“These other areas are comfortable places for people who live in the areas.”
Williams told the council that they could pay the county to add additional polling locations, for an additional $6,800 apiece.
Most of the council members agreed that any problems caused by changing locations would be simplified by the removal of home voting districts.
By hiring the county to manage the election, registered voters will be able to use any polling location in the county to vote.
“That’s a lot of change,” Banks said. “You’re going to have to do a lot of educating, telling people they can go anywhere.”
2014 Polling locations in the City of Galveston
Alamo School, 5200 Avenue N 1/2
GISD Administration Building, 3904 Avenue T
Galveston County Courthouse, 722 Moody Avenue
LA Morgan Elementary School, 1410 37th Street
Seaside Baptist Church, 16534 San Luis Pass Road
Rebecca Sealy Hospital, 8th Street and Avenue D
Weis Intermediate School, 7100 Stewart Road
Church of the Living God, 3315 7 Mile Rd
Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.