The Athens County Board of Elections voted to move six voting locations back to their original sites on Wednesday. The decision came after protesters accused the board of suppressing voter’s rights. Photo by Kaitlin Kulich

Precincts Will Move Back to Their Original Locations

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After several weeks of protests and heated community meetings, the Athens County Board of Elections passed a motion today during a special board meeting to move six polling locations in the county to their original spots.

The voting location changes reversed at the meeting were:

  • The Lodi voting location will be moved back to the Shade Community Center.
  • The New Marshfield and Waterloo locations will both be back at the Waterloo Community Senior Center.
  • Nelsonville locations 1 and 2 will be moved back to the Nelsonville Public Library.
  • Nelsonvile locations 3 and 4 will be moved back to Wesleyan Church.
  • York Township’s location will be moved to the Nelsonville Church of the Nazarene and the Buchtel location will be moved back to St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Republican board member Ken Ryan expressed his approval of the motion to move the locations to their original spots.

“I am supporting the return of the precincts to their prior location for the same reason that I supported the consolidation of precincts in the first instance, because of the faith that I have in the opinion of our director and deputy director,” Ryan said. “I respect their opinion when they say we have to return these precincts back to their prior locations for the good of the office and the good of the voters throughout Athens County.”

Director Debbie Quivey said she decided to ask Ryan to call the special meeting to address the precinct locations after last week’s meeting. According to Quivey, many community members voiced their disapproval of the decision to consolidate polling locations during the meeting. She also said the board of elections office received “aggressive” and “threatening” phone calls and social media posts from people who claim the office is taking away people’s right to vote.

“It had everybody here upset and after the meeting I decided enough is enough, and I said it’s time to go a different direction,” Quivey said. “It’s my job as director to make sure this office runs smoothly, and that time we thought it was a good idea, so we presented it to the board, but every idea we have may not be the best idea, so we revisited it.”

Quivey said she hopes moving the locations to their original spots will allow the board of elections to focus more on the election coming up on May 7 and on finding a polling location to replace East Elementary School.


This article was updated to correct the name of board member Ken Ryan.

This article was updated to include the names of the Shade Community Center and the Waterloo Community Senior Center.