The Rockland County Board of Elections reduced the number of polling places for Thursday’s primary to save money. Instead of 80 locations, there will be 17 throughout the county. Notification cards were sent to registered voters within the past two weeks.
Republican Board of Elections Louis Babcock said, “We have consolidated a lot of our election districts into a single poll site as a cost saving measure.”
Babcock said the primary could cost up to $300,000 if 80 locations were used because of the expense to open the polls and hire people. With the decreased number of polling places, the cost falls to about $100,000.
He said many of the primary races involve Conservative and Working Party candidates and at some polling places possibly 25 people were registered with one of those parties. However, the Republicans also have primary candidates, a number of who are involved in races for committee seats.
“The districts in a lot of places have very few voters,” Babcock explained.
Although the newly consolidated polling places are listed on the Board of Elections web site, as of late Tuesday no addresses were provided. The list includes the districts that will vote at the new location.
In Clarkstown there are five polling places that will serve more the voters of more than 70 districts. Monterey Gardens is the site for 26 districts and St. Francis Church is the site for 12 districts. Upper Nyack Elementary School is the site for eight districts and St. Paul is the site for 12 districts. Street School is the site for 18 districts.
In Orangetown, voters from 26 districts will use one of two polling locations.
Pearl River High School will serve 15 districts and Orangetown Town Hall will service 11 districts. Two polling places have been set in Haverstraw, seven in Ramapo and one in Stony Point.
Lawrence Stone of the Rockland Republican Academy is concerned that people are unaware their polling place may have changed.
There’s zero notification that they’ve consolidated polling stations,” said Stone.
He is worried that people will go to their usual location and when they find out it has changed, decide not to trek somewhere else to vote. His group has 24 candidates running for Republican committee seats in the primary. According to Stone, just two of those candidates received letters notifying them their polling place has been changed.
The 17 poll locations will open on Thursday, Sept. 13 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.