Every four years, the average time spent in line to vote in London Grove – South is about two hours. Voting should not be an endurance contest. There is an easy fix that I have pushed for since 2008 that will resolve this problem. Some have discussed creating a third precinct. This does not make sense for two reasons. First, we would be the only municipality in the 13th Legislative District with more than two precincts and secondly and more importantly, this would come at a cost. We would need more hard to find poll workers/ volunteers, voting machines and other equipment. I have a better solution.
Currently, London Grove’s two precincts are split based on geography. Route 1 is the divide between London Grove South and North. Since we have made it our policy to preserve our agricultural heritage in London Grove – North, a vast majority of our residents live where we have concentrated residential development, in London Grove – South. On Election Day, there is virtually no lines in London Grove – North, with at most, a 15 minute wait – most of these voters having the good fortune to wait while they stand inside a warm and dry church building. Meanwhile, London Grove South residents wait in a line outside which one time stretched all the way out, around our building and down the shoulder of Rosehill Road as vehicles raced by. I’m 44 years old, self-employed and can take it. For many seniors, parents with their young children in tow and folks who need to get to work, this is a major hardship. It is unfair.
Here is a solution: Why not simply move the precinct line down towards State Road? This would add more voters to the north precinct and subtract from the south. Am I suggesting that the precincts be split equally based on the number of voters? No. To be fair, those in the north have some level of expectation since they reside in a lower density/rural area. But, I do believe that a 60/40 voter split would be more than fair and reasonable, probably doubling London Grove – North’s wait to a half hour at the busiest moments while reducing London Grove – South’s wait to a more reasonable hour - still twice the duration of the North. There are several buildings with more space and parking that could easily accommodate this new north precinct.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know your thoughts and if you would like to join me in this grass roots effort to bring fairness back to our polling places.
London Grove Township, South
Former Chairman London Grove Township &Former State Representative