Spartanburg City Council Hears Update on Voter Education Efforts

Spartanburg City Council recently received updates on efforts to educate residents on the local voting system and recent redistricting information.

Deputy City Manager Mitch Kennedy, Director of Spartanburg County Voter Registration & Elections John Baucom, and City Communications Manager Christopher George presented a collaborative educational effort to inform voters of all the changes occurring this year.

John Baucom outlined changes to 7 precinct locations in the City limits, citing a shortage of polling managers, the need for greater ADA accessibility, and sufficient infrastructure for voting equipment, as well as some locations having a low number of registered voters as the primary reasons for the changes. The needed changes were made with an eye towards minimizing the impact and driving distance for voters. Baucom assured Council that precinct lines were maintained though some polling locations were consolidated.

Primary changes occurring that impact city residents include:

  • Drayton: precinct name change, polling location moved to Drayton Elementary School, Beaumont precinct polling location also moved to Drayton due to low number of registered voters
  • Hayne: location change to Summit Church
  • Southside Baptist: name changed to Beacon, voters will now vote at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church
  • T.K Gregg: Ebeneezer Baptist precinct was moved to this polling location
  • Airport: formerly Mt. Zion Full Gospel Baptist Church, polling location will be Silver Hill United Methodist Church
  • Southport: formerly Whitestone, polling location will be Croft Baptist Church
  • Powell Saxon Una: polling location will be Arcadia Elementary School

These changes are expected to create more efficient and streamlined voting for residents and enables staff to better serve the community as they cast their ballots, according to Baucom. Changes also enable the use of more static public spaces, rather than private buildings such as churches or busy public locations such as fire departments, where emergency vehicle traffic may be impeded by voter traffic.

Voters who experienced any change to their voter registration, whether a precinct name change, polling name change, or redistricting were mailed an updated voter registration card that included the change(s) as well as the name and address confirming their polling location.

As part of the joint educational efforts, voters are strongly encouraged to visit or to contact the Spartanburg County Voter Registration Office in advance of election day to check their registration. Address changes may be made online via the website. Anyone who has moved recently should check their registration to confirm their polling location.

Both the City and County will continue to share information on voter information, new voter registration, changes to polling locations, redistricting, sample ballots, and encourage citizens to utilize the website through a sustained social media campaign, traditional news media, and direct outreach in multi-family housing, community centers, parking garages, and more.

City staff will also highlight important dates in the upcoming election season—such as National Voter Registration Day on September 19— and will share reminders for early voting, and Election Day.

View full video from the September 11 City Council meeting by visiting the meeting portal here.

Written by the City of Spartanburg.