BROOKSVILLE - More than 4,800 registered voters in Brooksville will now cast their ballots at one polling location for future elections.
Brooksville's four voter precincts will be consolidated to Precinct 4 at the Jerome Brown Center, according to Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson, which will absorb Precinct 11 polling place South Brooksville Community Center and Precinct 26 polling place Cloverleaf.
Precinct 10 polling place Grace World Outreach will remain, Anderson said, but it will serve as a polling location for about 4,000 non-city voters.
"All voters who will be impacted by this change will receive updated voter information cards, as well as information of how to request a vote by mail ballot, and information about early voting," Anderson said.
She added voters can go online at www.hernandovotes.com and request a vote by mail."
"I went to the City Council (Monday) to inform them of the plan I'll be taking forward to the Board of County Commissioners later this fall," Anderson said.
"I just feel during these tough budget times we need ways to create efficiencies, and one way to do that is where I can contain costs, and to minimize any mistakes that can happen at a polling place."
Anderson said because all city voters will now cast their ballots at Jerome Brown Center, non-city voters will no longer be able to vote at the site.
She said making a polling place either city or non-city will reduce the likelihood of assigning the wrong ballot. Anderson said in past elections her office had to create multiple ballot sheets to accommodate precincts with city and non-city voters, which became costly.
"We have to make them, order them, print them, and this cuts that out for us," she said.
Anderson said she is working to convert the Precinct 11 polling place, the South Brooksville Community Center, into an early vote site, which will replace the early vote site at the courthouse.
"The law allows us to use a government-owned community center, and I am going to take advantage of that," she said.
In the past, the law only allowed early voting sites at the Supervisor of Elections Office, libraries and city hall, Anderson said.
In addition to the government center, Anderson said libraries in Ridge Manor and Spring Hill will also serve as early vote sites, as well as the Supervisor of Elections Office.
"Per budget allocations, that is what I have requested," she said.
"Trends throughout the state and here in Hernando County show the popularity of early voting and vote by mail."
The next election year is 2014, with primary elections Aug. 26 and general elections Nov. 4.