Council moves public hearing

Vote to be cast soon

Casting votes in the Vines Center may come a little sooner than anticipated.

Council Responds — A new polling location will be in place on Liberty’s campus by the Presidential Primary elections in March 2012. Photo credit: Chris Mabes

The city manager’s office has expedited the public hearing process needed to make changes in local polling precincts. The public hearing will be held Oct. 25. The meeting will also, hopefully, include a vote on the matter, City Councilman Jeff Helgeson said.

“It’s a great thing. I’ve been pushing for Liberty to have its own polling place since 2008,” Helgeson said. “I hope to see it come to fruition, hopefully, on Oct. 25, 2011.”

Despite the expedited process, the polling place for residential Liberty students will not change for the November election. Students will still be required to cast their ballots at Heritage Elementary for this fall’s state elections.

After the Liberty Champion reported on the delays in the approval process (Sept. 27 issue), City Attorney Walter Erwin sent a letter explaining the process (Oct.4 issue) and noted that the last public hearing would be in late November and that it would be the local May elections before students would be going to the Vines to cast their ballots.

However, after much support from various city council members and a request from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, the process was moved up with the last public hearing set for late October.

“It was great to see the public hearing moved up a month, back to the original timing requested by the Council,” General Counsel for Liberty University David Corry said. “This vote will now take place in time for the new campus precinct to be used for the March 6 Presidential Primary, instead of targeting the May City elections as the City attorney indicated in his letter to the Champion last week.”

While having the new polling place located on Liberty campus in time for the November elections would have been ideal, “this move demonstrates some movement in response to the Chancellor’s requests,” Corry said.

“It would limit our students to only one more election at the old Heritage location, instead of two,” Corry said. “Depending on who is still in the race come March, the Republican primary is a great race to kick off the Liberty precinct. I suspect student interest will still be high.”

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