You might call it the "Polling Place Shuffle."
Voters in six of Clay County's 23 precincts will cast their ballots in new locations this year, beginning with the May 2 primary and school board elections. County Clerk Mary Brown made the changes after evaluating the accessibility of each facility.
Her main focus: suitable parking for handicapped voters.
"I basically looked at the parking areas. If any of them had rock or gravel, I tried to move them into a place with a paved surface," she said.
Residents of the Brazil 2 precinct, who in the past have cast their votes at Meridian Elementary School, will move a block south to the First United Methodist Church at 201 N. Meridian St.
In past elections, voters from the Brazil 4 and Jackson 3 precincts shared a single polling location-- the modular buildings outside Forest Park Elementary. This year, Brown has arranged to move the polling place for Jackson 3 to the Indiana National Guard Armory on State Road 59 (the former polling place for the Brazil 5 precinct).
Brazil 4 will move out of the modular buildings but remain on the Forest Park campus.
"Now they're actually voting in the school," she said.
Brazil 5 residents accustomed to voting at the armory have been moved all the way across town, to the North Meridian Street Church of Christ.
Van Buren 3 residents have cast their votes in past elections at the Harmony firehouse. Brown predicted that in future elections the polling place will be moved into the soon-to-be-built Harmony Community House. For now, Van Buren 3 will share a location with Van Buren 2 at the Knightsville Community House.
Brown also selected new polling places for Jackson 1 (moved from Wesley Chapel to Jackson Township Elementary School) and Perry 1 (moved from the Cory firehouse to Cory Zion Church).
The changes will, for now, eliminate the need for state-furnished temporary aids-- parking signs, push-plate door openers and other items-- the county recently received. Brown said she will observe polling operations during the primary to determine how those aids could be used in future elections.
"Now that we've changed some of them, they may not be needed at all," she said.