Gloversville school board OKs reducing polling places

GLOVERSVILLE – The Gloversville Enlarged School District will have only two polling places for school elections following a vote at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting.

In an 8-1 vote, the board approved reducing the number of polling places from six to two.

The polling places will be at Gloversville High School and Bleecker Town Hall. Residents who previously voted at the elementary schools for all district-related voting will now vote at the high school gymnasium, a news release said. Bleecker residents will still vote at the Town Hall.

The new voting process will be implemented for the May 20 school budget vote and Board of Education election. In addition to the site changes, polling hours will be expanded by five hours to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., the release said.

Pete Semione was the only board member to vote against the proposal.

Semione said he agreed the number of polling places should have been reduced, but did not agree with the choices. He preferred to close the Bleecker location.

Fewer than 100 voters use the Bleecker location, officials said.

“I don’t think it services enough voters,” Semione said. “I agree with the idea, but the locations I can’t agree with. I think it would be better spent using the high school and perhaps at Boulevard or Kingsborough, where it would service more voters.”

Assistant Superintendent Steve Schloicka said Tuesday the district will save between $1,400 and $1,500 by having only two polling places.

Superintendent Michael Vanyo said the main reason for the measure is to lower risks to students and increase safety.

“This move enhances student safety by limiting public access to our schools,” Vanyo said in the release. “With the dedicated, secure entrances to the GHS gymnasium, it’s the ideal location to conduct polling.”

According to Vanyo, the two polling places would be sufficient to deal with the amount of voters the district sees. In 2013, roughly 740 voters turned out to vote for the budget in Gloversville.

Originally, Vanyo said the goal was to reduce the number of polling places in the district to one.

However, due to the district’s population the district must have at least two polling places, according to a state Department of Education law.