October 31, 2013 | 592 views
Residents call for voting at West School
Ford urges Democratic election commissioner to open polling site
A group of residents rallied in front of West School on Monday, calling on the county’s Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner to reopen the polls for voters at the building on Election Day.
As the Herald reported last week, West Elementary School, which reopened in September after major renovations following Hurricane Sandy, will not be used as a polling location on Nov. 5. Instead, West End residents will have to vote at the Lindell School, just over a mile away.
Nassau County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner William Biamonte said that because West Elementary was not available to voters in time for the Democratic primary on Sept. 10, the board had little time to prepare it for Election Day, and using it that day would create confusion among voters. The policy of the board, Biamonte said, is to keep “absolute” consistency in the general election and primary to avoid confusion.
County Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) has been calling on Biamonte to approve the building’s use, saying that Republican Commissioner Louis Savinetti had given permission to open West School for voting. Both commissioners must approve the building’s use, and Ford said that Schools Superintendent David Weiss sent a letter to Biamonte and Savinetti on Sept. 24 indicating that the school, which is usually the polling place for three of the city’s 24 voting districts, could be used.
The West End Neighbors Civic Association has also been circulating a petition urging Biamonte to open the polls at West. As of Monday, it had already garnered more than 500 signatures.
“The reason that we called this meeting is that Long Beach got blasted — we probably got hurt more than any other community on Long Island,” said Jerry Romanoff, vice president of the West End Neighbors Civic Association.
Using the famous quote from the movie “Network,” Romanoff said, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! We have the right to vote where we live and where we can walk to. I’ve been told that there is no time between now and the election and my attitude is, nonsense. I hope that they respond to this petition.”