Changes In SLC Polling Places Could Confuse Some Voters
For years, Clara Premo has gone to the Colton Town Hall to vote.
But this year - due to a countywide consolidation of polling places - she and other Colton residents now cast their votes at the South Colton Community Center.
And she isn't happy about it.
"I'd rather do it here," she said of the town hall, "you know, because I used to just walk to it. Now I have to drive."
Not only has the county been carved into four state Assembly districts and three Senate districts, but redistricting has cut the number of polling sites in the county to 52.
The biggest changes are in Massena, which lost six districts, and in Potsdam, which went from 12 to eight districts.
"We have to make changes," said Republican elections commissioner Tom Nichols.
"Government has to become more efficient and we have to do the same thing," Nichols said.
In an effort to cut down on possible confusion, several weeks ago voters were sent postcards listing their designated polling places.
"I believe people will be confused," said Democratic elections commissioner Jennie Bacon.
"if they didn't read their yellow cards and find out all their district information as well as their polling place there may be confusion.".
Fewer polling places also means fewer election inspectors are needed.
More than 50 of the part-time jobs have been cut.
While there are mixed feelings about the polling consolidations, many people say it won't deter them from voting.
"It's going to be fine," said voter Bonnie Matzell, "I don't think it's a big thing for us."
"It's probably not going to be a great hardship to drive four or five miles to go to vote," said Jane Fallon, another voter.
County Board of Elections officials say if voters have any questions, they can call 315-379-2202 or visit their website.
Friday, February 12, 2016, Watertown, NY
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