The search also had a limited time span. Establishing a new polling center involves a public hearing, a vote, and also approval from the state's Department of Justice. That process can take up to 90 days.
Wertz was directed to Tom Gabbard, associate director of athletics, internal affairs, to look at spaces the athletics department could provide. He was directed there by Sherwood Wilson, Vice President for Administrative Services.
Gabbard admitted to initial surprise at being contacted.
“Because there isn't anywhere else on this 2,000 acre campus to find a place to poll and I'm thinking 'that's illogical,',” Gabbard said.
Regardless, Gabbard began to show Wertz, and some on the county electoral board who would eventually have to approve the space, potential locations for the polling center.
Cassell Coliseum was initially an area of interest, agreed on by many as an ideal choice with a huge open space and easy access to on-campus students. According to Gabbard, Cassell had no space issues.
“Cassell would have been, to us, ideal,” Wertz agreed.
The basketball coliseum, located directly across from the main dormitories on campus and next to the McComas parking lot, was dismissed as an option on the basis tha parking couldn't be provided for voters who had to drive to the polls.
“If you came on this campus at 10 o'clock this morning and tried to park in that lot, you wouldn't find a place to work, ballot day or no ballot day,” Gabbard said.
The McComas lot, between McComas Gym and Cassell Coliseum, is used on a daily basis for staff who work at the athletic facilities, career services, student services, McComas gym and Schiffert Health Center.
“The only way you're going to be able to make that work is to reserve spaces before the day starts, and you can't shut this campus down for several hundred parkings spaces, which is what I believe (Wertz) was talking about,” Gabbard explained.
Both Wertz and Gabbard agree that specific number of parking spots was never mentioned in discussions, however, when brought up with Wertz, he speculated that the necessary spots would not hit a hundred, or even fifty.