City council approves move of two main polling locations

Voters in two different precincts in East Lansing will have to travel to new polling locations, as the East Lansing City Council approved at Tuesday’s regular public meeting recommendations to move the locations.

Precinct 2, where the voting location was at The People’s Church, 200 W. Grand River Ave., will move to the Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, while Precinct 13 will move from Abbot Hall to Shaw Hall.

The locations, in downtown East Lansing and on campus, are two main voting precincts for students on election day.

The move to Hannah Community Center will mean a slightly farther walk for some students on election days. While The People’s Church sits across the street from campus, Hannah Community Center is located farther north, near the intersection of Abbot Road and Burcham Drive.

East Lansing City Clerk Marie McKenna said it was the preference of the church that the polling location change.

“We had a discussion about it, and it does inconvenience the day care patrons,” she said. “With this busy last election, we had lots of people wandering into parts of the church where they really shouldn’t have been.”

East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas said he didn’t think the polling location change would have a significant effect on the student population.

“(The) proximity (of the two locations) makes it a pretty easy switch for people,” he said.
The other polling location change is the change in Precinct 13, where the ballots now will be cast in Shaw Hall instead of Abbot Hall.

Before the change, the polling location used to be at Shaw, but construction at the dorm caused the move to Abbot for the past election.

“We had asked about staying in Abbot just this one last time, but they’re actually a 24-hour secure dorm,” McKenna said. “So we prefer not to have people coming and going (throughout the dorm).”
Mayor Pro Tem Nathan Triplett said the move from Abbot to Shaw Hall would be a better location for voters to cast their ballot.

“(Shaw has) more reliable parking on the vicinity (for voters),” he said.

Triplett said the change now “gives us as much time as possible to get the word out about polling location changes.”

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