ATHENS — The Limestone County Board of Registrars will have a new web-based system in place as early as next month to maintain voter information.
“The timing of this is ideal because, with reapportionment that is required after the census every 10 years, district lines for more than likely every district are going to be changing,” said Limestone County Probate Judge Charles Woodroof. “The timing is perfect for Limestone County to go through this process to be ready for the 2022 election cycle.”
The Limestone County Commission this week approved a bid of $19,000 with Pelham-based Keet Consulting Services LLC for the system. There’s a $10,000 fee for the mapping work and a $9,000 annual fee for geographic information system (GIS) maintenance and support services.
“When reapportionment was done 10 years ago in 2010, we had less than 50,000 registered voters. Now we have over 70,000 registered voters,” Woodroof said.
The latest figures show Limestone County has a total of 70,180 active and inactive registered voters, he said.
He said Limestone and Morgan are among seven counties in the state using Keet to convert to a web-based system.
The company, with the help of GIS, will use a "geocoding" process that assigns geographic coordinates to each address, and then addresses are matched against streets on a digital map. After mapping voters’ locations, precinct and district boundaries can be overlaid while keeping an accurate account of voter assignments.
“It’s very important that we get the voter in the right precinct,” said Sandy Smith, the chair of the Limestone County Board of Registrars, which handles voter registration. “It’s going to be a tremendous help to us. We hope to have it up and going by the middle of April.”
Smith said that if residents registering to vote come to the Board of Registrars office and ask for the location of their precinct, the staff now has to show them using paper maps, but the new system will allow them to use a map on a computer screen to show the location.