The Key West elections office will move out of its downtown office on Whitehead Street next year and onto College Road on Stock Island. But the current location at 530 Whitehead St. will remain open and active for this year’s midterm elections, including the primary on Aug. 23 and the general election on Nov. 8.
Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Joyce Griffin will set up shop in the now-vacant, former Bayshore Manor assisted-living facility, which is owned by Monroe County.
The Bayshore Manor site offers plenty of parking, which is a problem for the downtown location, and will be more convenient for voters in Key West’s New Town neighborhoods, as well as those on Stock Island, Key Haven and Big Coppitt, Griffin said.
“People in the northern two miles of Key West rarely make it down to the southern two miles of the island,” she said. “And parking is a big problem down here on Whitehead Street. During early voting, I have to hire someone to monitor and save two spots in my parking lot. If people aren’t there for early voting, they can’t park there. Plus, this year, Fantasy Fest falls on one of the Saturdays of early voting, and the street is blocked off by 1 p.m. that day.”
Griffin is already storing some voting equipment in the county-owned building on College Road. She said she has outgrown her current office space and the tabulating machines need better air-conditioning and less humidity than her current location.
“Bayshore is a wonderful location for voters. College Road has the college, the hospital, the nursing home, the sheriff’s office, the golf course homes and the elementary school. It will be so much easier for everyone who works at those locations to stop by and vote early instead of going all the way downtown. It takes 20 minutes to get from College Road to the current location on Whitehead Street. Plus, College Road is much more accessible to everyone on Stock Island, Key Haven and Big Coppitt,” Griffin said.
The move is expected to take place in January 2023.
No one’s voting precinct for voting on Election Day will be affected by the move, Griffin emphasized.
“No one can vote at the elections office on Election Day; it’s illegal. They have to vote at their designated precinct if voting on Election Day. The only voting that happens in my office is early voting.”
For information about elections and voting precincts, visit keys-elections.org.