The Wilkes County Board of Elections has scheduled a public hearing for comments on the proposed merger of the Jobs Cabin and Mount Pleasant precincts, as well as designation of a new polling place for the combined new precinct.
The public hearing is from 7-8 p.m., Oct. 8 at the Champion Fire Station at 491 Champion-Mount Pleasant Road in the Mount Pleasant community. The fire station has a Ferguson postal address.
Wilkes Board of Elections Director Kim Caudill said a merger of the two precincts has been discussed due to the small number of registered voters, small voter turnout (typically no more than about 150 people) and difficulty finding enough precinct workers for Jobs Cabin. It has the smallest voter registration and voter turnout among all Wilkes precincts.
She said that under state law, a new precinct name must be adopted when two precincts are merged. Caudill said Lewis Fork has been suggested as the name if Jobs Cabin and Mount Pleasant merge. Lewis Fork once was a precinct name in that area.
She said the Champion Fire Station is the proposed new polling place.
The polling place for the Mount Pleasant Precinct is Mount Pleasant Elementary School, which is near the Champion Fire Station on Champion-Mount Pleasant Road. Caudill said the Champion Fire Station provides voters more direct access than Mount Pleasant Elementary School.
The Maple Springs Community Center is the Jobs Cabin polling place. It’s located close to the base of the Blue Ridge Mountain escarpment on Sifford’s Branch Road, near where the road intersects with U.S. 421 West. The Maple Springs Community Center and Mount Pleasant Elementary are about four road miles apart.
Mountainous and sparsely-settled Jobs Cabin Precinct already is bordered on two sides by the Mount Pleasant Precinct. A small part of Jobs Cabin borders Union Precinct and its western half protrudes into Watauga County.
Although Jobs Cabin includes the Buck Mountain residential development, Caudill pointed out that many of the homeowners there are part-time residents who aren’t registered to vote in Wilkes.
Caudill said the Wilkes Board of Elections would probably vote on the matter later in October or on November instead of at the Oct. 8 meeting.
If the Wilkes Board of Elections approves the merger of the two precincts and a new polling place, it would then go to the N.C. Board of Elections for approval.
Caudill said anyone with questions or concerns about the matter can contact the Wilkes Board of Elections office in the Wilkes County Office Building in Wilkesboro at 336-651-7338.