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Poll Sites Closed And Consolidated

Rockland County Board of Elections makes changes to improve school security and comply with ADA

 

Some Rockland County voters will be going to new polling sites the next time they vote. The county’s Board of Elections commissioners formalized a decision that had been made in February and released a list of polling sites are being closed and consolidated either to improve school security or comply with ADA regulations on Thursday. 

In Clarkstown, 12 locations are being closed and five new sites have been added. In Orangetown, five sites are being closed and two new locations will be used. Ramapo voters will see seven closures and six replacement sites. No changes are being made in Stony Point or Haverstraw.

The changes come as a result of the required assessment of poll sites every two years, which includes surveys and visits. During the past few months, Board of Elections employees visited poll sites to assess ADA compliance, accessibility, parking, and security issues and concerns.

Commissioner Louis Babcock said ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance is just part of what was evaluated at each location.

“We also take great care to ensure rooms are large enough to accommodate privacy booths, there is ample parking so that voters are able to easily enter and exit the polling sites, and sites are convenient in terms of proximity to voters,” he said. “Our assessment also includes the impact to the site itself, as we study the regularly scheduled activities and programs to minimize disruption.” 

Many schools have hosted polls and that became a growing concern after the December tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The local scrutiny included discussions with school district clerks and administrators.

“We are committed to ensuring our voters have unfettered access to the electoral process,” said Commissioner Kristen Stavisky. “We are equally dedicated to protecting the security of our schools and ensuring the safety of our children.”

In Clarkstown, 11 of the 12 sites previously named are being removed as polls for school security reasons. Seven are in the Clarkstown School District: the Bardonia, Little Tor, Link, Strawtown, West Nyack and Woodglen elementary schools and Birchwood School. Three are in the Nyack School District: the Liberty, Upper Nyack and Valley Cottage elementary schools. Also closed was the Hilltop Administration Building for space limitations and lack of parking and St. Paul School in Valley Cottage for security reasons. 

The new Clarkstown polling locations are the Chestnut Grove School District Office, Martin Luther King Multipurpose Center, Risen King Alliance Church, Salvation Army Eastern Territory Headquarters and the Valley Cottage Library.

In Orangtown, the Evans Park and William O’Shaeffer elementary schools and Nyack Community Ambulance were closed for security reasons. Depew Manor is no longer a polling site because it did not comply with ADA and Orangetown Town Hall had space limitations and lack of parking. The two new Orangetown sites are the New York State Armory and Nyack Library. 

Those voters impacted by the changes will receive three separate notifications: a personalized letter outlining the reasons behind the shifts, a revised voter identification card, and a mail check card. The letters will include a note directing the voter to check the mail for his or her revised voter identification card. Mail checks will be sent out at the beginning of August in advance of the September 10th primary and November 5 general election. 

Dennis May 03, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Orangetown Town Hall had space limitations and lacked parking? Obviously the board of elections didn't visit the place. Nyack Library has less parking and space than Town Hall. Talk about out of touch! Very poor decision with respect to Orangetown! Dennis W. Hardy-Former Mayor-Village of Piermont
Kristen Stavisky May 03, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Dennis, the poll sites assigned to Orangetown Town Hall will now vote at the NYS Armory. This new site is just west of Town Hall. The site is large and has ample parking. The Nyack Library replaces Depew Manor, which was not ADA compliant. The Library is one block east of the old site. Many of the voters in the area are in walking distance of the polls. We are also working with sites to provide voter parking. We went through an extensive process, including personal visits and mileage checks driving from site to site. It is also important to remember that the sites identified in the article are located throughout the identified Town. Many of the closures were absorbed into existing sites. All changes took proximity and access for voters into account. For example, we would not move the Orangetown Town Hall sites across town to Nyack. Depew and the Library, however, are similarly situated in downtown Nyack and both have existing parking issues. I would be happy to speak further. Please call me at the Board. Best, Kristen Stavisky

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