Salem to have one polling place for special elections

Salem residents in wards 4, 8, 9 and 10, who vote at the Wilmot Fire Station for regularly scheduled elections, will now vote at Salem Town Hall for special elections. (Click for a larger view)

The Salem Town Board Thursday decided to have special elections at one polling place instead of the two used for regularly scheduled elections.

The change was proposed by town Clerk Cindi Ernest. It was prompted by the likelihood of two special state recall elections this summer.

When the town has a special election promoted by school district referendums the school district pays for the election. But a local or state special election — such as the state Sen. Bob Wirch recall expected this summer — the town must fund, even though it has not budgeted money for the election, Ernest explained.

As a result of the board action, special elections will now be held at Salem Town Hall for all voters.

Through a need for fewer poll workers and other economies, Ernest estimates the town will save $4,500 for each special election by having a single polling place.

In regular elections, voters in wards 4, 8, 9, and 10 will continue to vote at the Wilmot Fire Station.

A special meeting was needed because any such change in polling places requires 30 days notice, which might have been missed for the recall elections if the board had waited to act until the next regular board meeting on June 13, Ernest said.

The measure passed 3 to 0 with Supervisors Dennis Faber and Joseph Meier absent.

The board discussed the need to make the change known to effected voters. methods of notification that were discussed included messages on the Town Hall and Wilmot Fire Station marquee signs, other temporary marquee signs, banners on strategic corners, posting on the town website and media releases.


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