THOMASVILLE — With the voting process increasing from one machine to three, the Thomas County elections office is out of machine storage space.
With early voting beginning three weeks before the March 24 Presidential Preference Primary and Thomas County's first election using multiple voting machines, more voting machine storage space was needed — and soon.
County government is leasing the former Video Warehouse store, which will house elections and registration.
"It's something that is necessary," said Frank Scoggins, elections supervisor. "We had no choice."
The 1402 E. Jackson St. building — about 6,700 square feet — is being renovated by county crews at a cost of about $50,000. The $5,000 monthly lease agreement includes an option to purchase.
At the new site Monday morning, Scoggins said the new location is four times larger than the current elections office at the North Madison Street Thomas County Judicial Center.
Workers were repairing the front of the building where water and termite damage was found.
Thomas County Commission Chairman Wiley Grady said the state paid for the new voting machines, but is not funding expenses involved in acquiring storage space.
Vacated elections office space at the Justice Center could provide extra space for Probate Court functions, Grady said.
Scoggins pointed out that the East Jackson location will provide ample parking spaces, including some curbside parking.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820