Navarre resident Laura Densford Navarre arrived at her polling station Tuesday to find she was unable to vote on one of the big issues of the day: incorporating Navarre.
A quick look on the votesantarosa.com website shows voters who live in the new Duncan Ridge subdivision located off of High School Boulevard, where Densford lives, will vote in Precinct 10, which is labeled Holley. Just a stone’s throw away, Navarre High School and other surrounding addresses, are mapped in Precinct 26.
However, the county’s GIS (Geographic Information System) Mapping Department is responsible for mapping out the precincts and districts. Its website and data show Densford should vote in Precinct 26.
That means the county and the Division of Elections show different precincts for the same address. Supervisor of Elections Tappie Villane said she was unaware of the discrepancy when asked why the Duncan Ridge area would be included in Precinct 10. The county and the Division of Elections have issued an alert to election clerks at Precinct 10 advising them of the discrepancy.
“If any Duncan Ridge voters come to Precinct 10 they need to be sent to 26,” Villane said.
As for those who have already voted, Villane said there was nothing they could do. Meanwhile, Densford was unable to vote on the issue she said was her main motivation in the midterm election.
“It made me feel extremely disappointed. It was very irresponsible of whoever is in charge,” Densford said, adding that she felt her rights had been violated. “If a presidential ballot was messed up, that would be a huge deal. I feel this is a hug deal for me because it affects me personally, it’s my local government.”
“Honestly I don’t know. It is definitely something that we will be looking at. It just one of those quirky things,” Villane said. “I know it’s frustrating because it is an important vote.”
“This is one of the reasons why we want to incorporate Navarre, so we can have more control,” Densford said.
Earlier this year the county approved precincts 26, 29, 34, 35, 38 and 40 for the non-binding referendum without objection based on a recommendation from INC Navarre Now. The Holley precinct, 10, was not included in the “Navarre” boundaries after Holley residents attended the Inc. political action committee. meetings requesting to not be included. However, if the issue were to move forward based on the straw poll, the City of Navarre’s boundaries would go back to the drawing board.