Editor's note: The following story has been corrected from its original version.
MOULTRIE – The Colquitt County Commissioners meeting was a fairly lighthearted one Tuesday with only one public hearing scheduled.
Through the board, the city of Norman Park was approved for a self-supporting cellular tower from Verizon that is expected to remedy the poor cellular coverage in the area by increasing the coverage in this portion of the county.
“Most of the local law enforcement uses this service (Verizon), so this will really help them perform better,” said Colquitt County’s Chief Compliance Officer Justin Cox during the meeting.
According to Cox, Verizon chooses an area it sees as having the least amount of coverage and elects to erect cellular towers there.
As far as the location of towers, the company has to submit coverage maps as they currently are and then obtain approval to construct the tower in areas where there is poor coverage and no coverage overlap.
The tower is expected to be erected on 222 Stokes Road in Norman Park.
During the work meeting earlier in the evening, Commissioner Barbara Jelks discussed the possibility of consolidating the voting precincts in the county.
There are currently 19 precincts which, according the board, is proving to be a strain on both the county and its voting population.
Along with the new voting precincts, Jelks brought up the new machinery that would be used during voting and her worries about the efficiency of using them.
“If something goes wrong, the average handler doesn’t have the experience to fix it,” said Jelks. “And if something does go wrong with the scanners, then we could be accused of having tampered with the devices. We’d have some very irate voters on our hands.”
The Department Head of Information Technology Darren Roberson said some aspects aren't clear because the machines haven't arrived yet..
“Our knowledge is limited because we haven’t gotten our hands on them yet in Colquitt County, but from the description, each machine has a tablet and printer and each precinct will have at least one vote tabulator, or scanner, which reads the ballots.,” said Roberson.
The machines are expected to be used for the 2020 election cycle.
The next council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.