MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County voters now can get personalized directions to their election-day polling place from an Internet database launched Thursday.
Residents only need to enter their address in the map-oriented application on the county government’s website to obtain their assigned voting location, precinct number and the county and state House and Senate districts in which they reside.
The date of the next election, voting hours and registration deadline, as well as contact information for the Berkeley County Voter Registration Office, also is provided by clicking on the magnifying glass (address search) icon at www.berkeleywv.org/electionpollingplace/
As soon as the results of an election are certified, the names of elected officials and their contact information will be added to the individualized information that is generated by an address search, county Information Technology Director Gary Wine told Berkeley County Council members Thursday while demonstrating the software.
Sample election ballots also could eventually be attached, Wine said.
Berkeley County Clerk John W. Small Jr. was the “driving factor” behind the development of the map-oriented database, which was created with the Geographic Information Systems software, Wine said.
The computer-mapping tool also was recently used to redraw the lines for the county’s 66 voting precincts and six magisterial districts in response to new population data from the 2010 census.
More than 35,000 registered voters were notified of precinct and district line adjustments as a result of redistricting, according to Chief Deputy County Clerk Bonnie Woodfall.
Woodfall said that the new online polling-location database could eventually help reduce the “dozens” of phone calls that she and other officials in the voter registration office field on any given Election Day.
The most-often asked questions by callers are “Where do I vote?, What time do the polls open?, and What time do the polls close?,” Woodfall said.
Some voters even ask to be reminded of their political party registration, which isn’t available on the county’s new database, she said. That information can be obtained on the secretary of state’s website at https://apps.sos.wv.gov/elections/voter/index.aspx
Aside from the polling location application, GIS mapping software is currently being used for a other purposes, including county planning, engineering and emergency dispatch services, Wine said.
He said maps depicting the location of the county’s historic sites and the location of water and sewer lines, fire hydrants and other utility infrastructure are being developed with the software, which allows the viewer to zoom in on a particular area of the county.