Early voting for the March 6 election will continue through this week, with city hall serving as the voting place — the standard for every election.
But come March 6, the city’s redistricting efforts — required every decade by law — will change a few voting places for Clovis residents.
The precincts themselves don’t change, City Clerk LeighAnn Melancon said, but the polling places — and in some cases, the districts they belong to — do.
The changes, according to Melancon, are as follows:
• Colonial Park Golf Course is the only new voting location. It now handles Precincts 17 and 37. Those precincts were formerly located at Mesa Elementary.
• Mesa Elementary now includes Precincts 18 and 35. Those precincts were previously located at Zia Elementary.
• The 19th precinct, located at Zia Elementary, moves from District 1 to District 4.
• The portion of District 3 south of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad and west of Prince will vote at the Roy Walker Recreation Center. Those voters previously cast ballots at Lockwood Elementary.
• Precinct 20 was formerly split up into Districts 2, 3 and 4, and was hosted at Marshall Middle School, Highland Elementary or the CHS Freshman Academy (formerly Gattis Junior High), respectively. Now, the precinct belongs only to District 2, and is hosted solely at Marshall.
There have been few redistricting issues during early voting, Melancon said.
“Here, it doesn’t matter,” she said. “I have (ballots for) all four districts. I catch them as they come in.”
When the city held a special election on the affordable housing plan, which was overturned by voters, Living Stones Community Church had a prior engagement and the vote location was moved to Yucca Middle School for that election. City officials said at the time that voter frustration from a small change wouldn’t bode well for the possible changes redistricting would bring.
Melancon said there were no real problems during that election, for two reasons. First, the church did a good job of pointing voters in the right direction. Second, the special election drew an electorate more likely to be informed about such details than a crowd that just votes when there is a contested commissioner or mayor race.