OXFORD • An Oxford precinct may be relocated after some space constraints became evident during this month’s general election, although it’s unclear if a better location is available.
The Oxford 4 precinct is currently located at the Lafayette Civic Club on Tommie Collie Jane Road. Lafayette County Circuit Clerk Jeff Busby recently told the Daily Journal that “the facility itself is great” but “the amount of parking has been an issue.”
These issues were brought to the fore during the Nov. 3 general election and were made more clear considering high turnout levels. Lack of parking led some voters to park along roadways in the area.
In total, 3,155 voters cast presidential ballots at the Oxford 4 precinct, including absentee ballots, out of a little more than 23,000 presidential ballots cast across Lafayette County. This number makes the Oxford 4 precinct one of the most active during the recent election, behind the Oxford 2 precinct.
If the precinct is moved, it will be the second time Oxford 4 is relocated in a relatively short amount of time. The precinct was previously housed at the old mall, also known as the Jackson Avenue Center, which is currently owned by the University of Mississippi. The university decided in 2018 it no longer wished to host a voting precinct.
“That’s where it was for a number of years and the university did not want to be political, so they asked us to find a new location,” Busby said. “So that’s what the supervisors had to do at that time.”
Following the university’s decision, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors reached an agreement with the Lafayette Civic Club to host the precinct. The location was seen as the best available option in light of a sparse field of choices within geographic confines in which the voting station must be located.
Before the Jackson Avenue Center location, the precinct was located inside the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce office.
If the university-owned mall location remains unavailable, then efforts to move the precinct again will face the same issues evident in 2018.
“To be honest, it’s hard to find a precinct location that will allow you to come in and set up for three days and close their business down,” Busby said.