West side construction pushed back, won’t affect voters at nearby polling place

FRANKLIN CO., OH (WCMH) – A railroad crossing improvement project on the west side of Columbus has been pushed back by one week, so it won’t affect voters heading to the polls on Election Day.

Construction on the CSX railroad crossing on Trabue Road was scheduled to start Monday, Nov. 7. The section of Trabue Road between McKinley and Hague Avenues would have been closed for a week, including Election Day. The closure could have caused delays and congestion for people in the area, including nearby Maranatha Baptist Church, a polling place that covers four precincts and has 3,228 registered voters.

NBC4 contacted the Franklin County Board of Elections and the Franklin County Engineer about the construction. The engineer’s office said the dates were decided by CSX. After phone calls from NBC4 and the Board of Elections, the engineer’s office contacted CSX to coordinate a change in the dates, to the week of Nov. 14.

It’s good news for voters who would have been affected.

“It could prompt voters to potentially just abandon their effort to try and get to the polling location,” said Ed Leonard, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections. “And really, on Election Day, that’s pretty much the only option voters have, is to vote at their polling location.”

Early voting in Ohio continues through Monday at county boards of elections. On Tuesday, you can only vote at your own precinct. However, absentee ballots cannot be dropped off at precincts.

“It’s never a bad thing for a voter to kind of give some forethought to where their voting location is, and if there’s something that’s going on—traffic, construction, road construction that might be going on near their home or near their precinct location that might affect their ability to get to their polling location,” Leonard said.

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