Complaints of Smoky Smell Prompt Change in Lynchburg Polling Place

Lynchburg, VA - The smell of cigarette smoke could change a polling place for more than 4,000 people in Lynchburg.

Tuesday night, the City Council heard from the electoral board on a recommendation to move a polling place from the Elks Lodge, to Cornerstone Community Church.

The reason, the pungent smell of smoke that some voters complained was too strong when they went to cast their ballots.

City council set a public hearing to discuss the change, from there, it must be approved by council and if that happens, the United States Department of Justice then must approve the request.

It's a lengthy process that may not be completed for several months.

The Lynchburg Registrar said that for years, voters and polling place volunteers had complained that the smell in the Elks Lodge, which allows smoking, was too great to bear.

Finally, one voter filed a formal complaint. At the same time, Cornerstone Community Church volunteered to replace the Elks lodge as a polling location.

The lodge is currently a voting location in Ward four of the city, serving more than 4,000 people.

"Those who are highly allergic to smoke and smoke residue, that they are being affected when they are going to the Elks Lodge to vote" said Lynchburg's Electoral Board Chairman, John Falcone.

"When we have people who have difficulty with the environment, we try to make sure that, or see if we can do something that helps that situation" said the Lynchburg Registrar, Carolyn Sherayko.

The public hearing is scheduled for February 26th.

The registrar is hoping this will all be approved before November's general election.