Polling Place Changes For Primary Election

Polling Place Changes For Primary Election
Stephen Decatur Middle School will be undergoing renovations and will not be available to use as a polling place on July 19th. Voters that normally vote at Stephen Decatur Middle School will be voting at Berlin Intermediate School located at 309 Franklin Ave. in Berlin. Photo by Bethany Hooper.

SNOW HILL – With this year’s primary election less than a month away, officials are reminding voters of two polling place changes.

As the July 19 primary nears, the Worcester County Board of Elections reminds voters that early voting, which runs from July 7 to July 14, will be held at Worcester Preparatory School. The other polling place change is for voters that normally vote at Stephen Decatur Middle School (SDMS) on primary day. They will instead vote at Berlin Intermediate School.

“These two polling place changes will be for the primary election only,” said Patricia Jackson, election director. “We are hoping SDMS will have renovations completed in time to use their facility for the November election and the reason we are using Worcester Preparatory School for early voting in the primary is due to the election being moved to July 19th—we would normally use the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City but were concerned that the summer traffic would be a hindrance to the voters.”

The primary, which will decide several races in this year’s local elections, will be held July 19 with voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Early voting, which runs from July 7 to July 14, including Saturday and Sunday, will also be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Worcester Preparatory School. A ballot drop box will also be located at the school for those voting by mail to place their ballots if they prefer not to mail them. Ballots will be picked up from the drop box daily.

As for those placing their primary votes the day of July 19, the majority of the polling places will remain the same as in years past. The only change is for those who traditionally vote at Stephen Decatur Middle. The school is undergoing renovations and is not available so those who typically cast their ballots there should report to Berlin Intermediate School on Franklin Avenue in Berlin.

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Specimen ballots will be mailed to all qualified registered voters prior to the beginning of early voting and will contain information on dates of early voting, Election Day, and polling place.

Jackson said she does not expect the location changes for this year’s primary to impact turnout.

“Voters have the choice of vote by mail ballot, early voting and Election Day polling place voting,” she said. “Historically, primary elections have a low turnout as compared to general election turnout.”

For the 2020 presidential primary, which because of COVID-19 was primarily vote by mail, 40.31% of registered voters voted.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.