COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Rivanna Magisterial District- Emergency ordinance to change the polling place for the Keswick Precinct of the Rivanna Magisterial District
Emergency ordinance to change the location of the polling place for the Keswick Precinct of the Rivanna Magisterial District
Messrs. Tucker, Davis, Kamptner, Washburne, and Ms. Schermerhorn
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
January 9, 2008
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
Virginia Code § 24.2-307 requires that the Board of Supervisors establish polling places by ordinance. Albemarle County Code § 2-103(C)(4) establishes the Union Grove Baptist Church as the polling place for the Keswick Precinct in the Rivanna Magisterial District. The Albemarle County Elections Board was informed by the Church’s pastor in late November that the foundation of the Church had sustained water damage and the resulting structural problems are forcing the congregation to discontinue using the Church for all purposes until it is rebuilt. The Elections Board recommends that the polling place be changed to the Zion Hill Baptist Church.
Goal 1: Enhance quality of life for all citizens.
The proposed change to the polling place for the Keswick Precinct is necessary because the Union Grove Baptist Church will not be available as a polling place for an indeterminate period while the Church is rebuilt. After a site visit by staff, Zion Hill Baptist Church was selected over other possible locations. Zion Hill Baptist Church is generally centrally located within the boundaries of the precinct. The Church’s social hall, which would be used for elections, is well-suited as a polling place, has better access than other facilities considered, meets ADA requirements, and has much more accessible parking for those with disabilities.
An emergency ordinance is proposed because Zion Hill Baptist Church was identified as a polling place location in late December. An emergency exists because the dual presidential primaries will be held on February 12, 2008 and the notice requirements for a regular ordinance would not allow the Board to amend the ordinance until its February 6, 2008 meeting. Before the February 12, 2008 primaries, the location of the polling place must be changed by ordinance, the County must submit the polling place change to the United States Department of Justice for review to assure compliance with the Voting Rights Act (expedited review will be requested), and the General Registrar must provide 15 days’ notice to the voters in the Keswick Precinct of the polling place change.
State law provides that an emergency ordinance can only be enforced for sixty days. Therefore, it will be necessary for this ordinance to be readopted under the regular notice provisions for ordinances within sixty days.
There will be a modest budget impact resulting from sending individual notices to voters in the Keswick Precinct of the polling place change.
Staff recommends that the Board adopt the attached proposed emergency ordinance after receiving any comments from the public. Staff also recommends that the Board set a public hearing to readopt the ordinance for its February 6, 2008 meeting.
Attachment A – Emergency Ordinance
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