080820_HDH_ElectionsOffice

The Elections and Registrations Office may soon have a new building and location.

McDONOUGH — The Elections and Registration office in Henry County could soon have a new home.

During the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Elections Director Ameika Pitts, reported the department is running out of space, leading to safety issues and difficulty in following social distancing guidelines. Pitts said it’s not a new issue, but it’s becoming more of a problem due to the size and number of election machines.

“We’re looking at possibly having 600-plus machines for November, and with the space we have, it is very hard to do testing (on the machines). It has been very difficult, and I know you all are aware of it,” Pitts said. “We have outgrown this location. Not just for us to do our very best at making sure this election runs smoothly but for safety reasons as well. We are not able to social distance like we should, and it affects daily operations.”

Cheri Hobson-Matthews, county manager, told the BOC the county had proposed plans for the building and offered additional suggestions to remedy the elections office problem.

“There is a 10-acre tract of land that is owned by the county that we can certainly look at to build a new building, not only for Elections but also for the Tax Commissioner’s Office,” Hobson-Matthews said. “We are out of space in this building (the Administration Building) and if we could free up that space, we can have more space downstairs.”

She noted the county has funding available to construct a new building at an estimated cost of $3 million. The price would be $5 million if that included the Tax Commissioner’s Office.

A resolution to build the new facility is expected to be presented during the BOC’s Sept. 1 meeting.

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