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New Castle County continues polling place updates, Sussex and Kent to add more early voting locations

Delaware Public Media

New Castle County proposes changing polling locations in nine representative districts but will rework the plan amid concerns from the State Board of Elections.

While New Castle County Elections Director Tracy Dixon believes combining voting locations will better utilize election officers and voting equipment, board members express their fears of over-consolidation.

Board member Karen Pugh of Sussex County is particularly worried about long lines and lack of staff to support such a high volume of voters.

The idea is great, but I'm concerned about the number of people that you are bringing into that facility; that's almost 5000 voters that you're gonna move there," Pugh said.

Dixon was receptive to the feedback and will have a new proposal ready for next month’s meeting, where it will face a new vote.

The proposed updates come after an initial set of changes to 28 polling locations in August.

You can read New Castle County's full Phase 2 proposal here.

Additionally, Delaware is increasing its number of early voting locations after successfully launching its program with 13 last year.

Kent County looks to add one new location, while Sussex County plans to add three more after seeing the largest early voter turnout of all three counties in the 2022 general election.

Kent had three early voting locations in 2022, while Sussex had 5.

State Elections Commissioner Anthony Albence says it’s going to take two to three election cycles before they can get a firm early voter trend line, but he expects increases in upcoming elections.

“We would probably expect to see more early voting this year in a presidential election year. I would certainly expect to see growth overall, and that's probably what we're expecting," Albence said.

New Castle County will not add any locations to its existing five, but they plan to relocate a site below the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal — a move Albence believes will increase early voter traffic.

Before residing in Dover, Delaware, Sarah Petrowich moved around the country with her family, spending eight years in Fairbanks, Alaska, 10 years in Carbondale, Illinois and four years in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2023 with a dual degree in Journalism and Political Science.
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