MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Where you cast your vote on Election Day in Shelby County may be changing. The Election Commission is discussing a plan to consolidate voting locations, which may mean you have to travel a bit further to cast your vote.
Election officials tell WREG this plan would combine voting locations that have low voter turnout, bringing the machines all together in one location. They say it's a better use of resources, but some voters are worried this will mean less people show up.
Election officials are focusing on precincts that serve less than 1,000 voters on Election Day and have the lowest voter turnout. They think combining locations will make for a better overall experience.
Jeremy Wheeler says he always votes, and a change in location won't stop that, but that isn't necessarily true for everyone.
"A lot of people won't try to vote if they have to go to a new place. It will be hard for them to get there," he said.
Richard Holden, the administrator of elections, says having a bunch of tiny polling places isn't a good plan. The hope is by combining the smaller precincts, the voting process will be better, faster, and more fluid for every voter.
Holden said, "When you go to the facility, there are a different quantity of machines, a different quantity of election officials, and in many cases, a different quality of election officials."
Right now there are 220 voting precincts in Shelby County, and half the voters cast their ballot early. The next step is having the Election Commission vote on how many polling places they think should be consolidated, or if they think this is a good idea at all.
Voters say if people really care, they'll find a way to make it work.
Wheeler said, "If you want everyone to vote, you should supply transportation for them. That's what I think they should do."
If anything changes for you, you'll get a letter in the mail explaining everything. The final vote is in two weeks.
Mayor A C Wharton didn't have a comment on this plan, and Jim Strickland, who is running for mayor, didn't return our email.