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Pittsylvania County officials speak with voters about assignment errors

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PITTSYLVANIA Co., Va. (WSET) -- Some voters on the Southside found out they have been assigned to the wrong voting district or polling place, since people could vote in the state of Virginia.

"For 41 years I thought I lived in Pittsylvania County and come to find out I'm actually in Halifax," said Julian Richardson, a voter reassigned to Halifax County.

Many voters are in the same boat as Richardson, but only five showed up to a meeting on the issue Saturday.

RELATED | Map errors determines some Pittsylvania Co. voters were misassigned

Pittsylvania County General Registrar Kelly Bailess says the Virginia Board of Elections started the Missasigned Voter Project in 2017.

Bailess says on July 30 the Board of Elections asked her to investigate 311 addresses to identify their voting districts.

"When I went through the 311 addresses, towards the end I realized that there were some folks, based off of the U.S. Census maps that were physically not within the county boundary," she said.

Bailess says she found there were 31 voters assigned to the wrong district and polling place from 17 different addresses.

"We met to explain that to them, to show them the maps and the data that we had to explain what the code requires of us because the timing was not ideal," Bailess said.

"My polling place now has changed, I have to do maybe 30 to an hour drive now to get to my polling place, verses 10 minutes coming to Dan River High, but that really doesn't matter because I'm going to vote," Richardson said.

She says by law, the changes had to happen by October 15.

"I don't know why the timing was the way that it was, but I can tell you that as soon as I received it is when I started working on it," Bailess said.

The Pittsylvania County School Board decided at the meeting they would let the children of the reassigned voters stay in their school system.

Richardson says that was his main concern since he has three kids in their schools.

"I did not want my kids to have to commute for an hour to an hour and a half each day on a bus when they live about 10 minutes from the school system they attend now," he said.

If you couldn't attend the meeting or still have questions, you're asked to give the Pittsylvania County or Halifax County Registrar's Offices a call.

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The Pittsylvania's number is (434) 432-7971, and Halifax's is (434) 476-3322.

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