Even in need of fixes, community center to host early voting

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 7:09 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta’s Henry Brigham Community Center is old, rundown and in need of repair.

But leaders say every time the city gets a bid for how much renovations would cost, it goes up.

Commissioners decided not to spend more money to make those repairs.

And in less than a week, the community center will open its doors for early voting.

While this isn’t the first time Augusta has seen a runoff, it will certainly be the fastest turnaround to get ready the city has ever seen.

“Runoffs in general can be problematic, but then with this quick turnaround, it’s even more problematic,” said Travis Doss, executive director of the Richmond County Board of Elections.

When a law changed back in 2021, Augusta went from having 45 days to prepare for a runoff election to 28.

And the timing couldn’t be worse.

“It’s causing more overtime, it’s causing us to hire more workers,” Doss said. “Unfortunately, not only is the runoff on the 21st of June; it’s the day after a holiday.”

And one of south Augusta’s most popular early voting centers will especially feel the pain.

Augusta Commission members decided Tuesday in a 5-5 vote not to give the Henry Brigham Community Center any more funding for construction.

District 5 Commissioner Bobby Williams got emotional describing to fellow commissioners the parts of the building that are falling down.

Those voting no cited the high cost and requested lower bids. The most recent bid for the work came back just over $8 million.

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