State elections officials are again moving the designated polling place for Wilmington's Browntown neighborhood to avoid forcing voters to travel two miles outside the city to cast their ballots.
Residents will now be able to vote at the Claymore Senior Center, which is closer and located in the city's Hedgeville neighborhood. The change was made in time for the April 28 presidential primary, and likely will remain in place for the Sept. 15 local primaries, which include city council and mayoral seats.
Initial polling place changes were made amid the closure of Pulaski Elementary School, which previously served as a polling place for three voting districts in the southwest Wilmington area.
Two of those districts, each with only about half of Browntown's 1,400 registered voters, were re-assigned to the Claymore Senior Center.
Browntown's voters were re-assigned to Richardson Park Elementary School near Elsmere, about two miles down Maryland Avenue. The move raised concerns from local residents and the Democratic Party City Committee that it was too far for voters who can't drive.
Tracey Dixon, the state Elections Department's New Castle County director, said her department was concerned the senior center could not handle all of Browntown's registered voters.
After hearing concerns from residents and inquiries from The News Journal, she said elections officials visited the senior center.
"We did some more research and did a site visit and we determined it would be OK to move them," she said.
Dixon said her department will add voting machines and staff at the senior center to handle the influx of additional voters. Browntown voters will receive letters and a new polling place card in the mail notifying them of the change.
Jeanne Kuang covers Wilmington for The News Journal. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 324-2476. Follow her on Twitter at @JeanneKuang.