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Mineville polling place

"The whole premise behind this [HAVA] act is to encourage people to vote," he said, "and this doesn't do that."

Jay supervisor Randy Douglas had a similar stance to the plan, which would require voters in and around Au Sable Forks to use the polling site in the hamlet of Jay.

"I have an issue with that, if only because there's not enough parking to accommodate the whole town," he said, arguing voters might not want to go to a more crowded polling site.

Westport supervisor Dan Connell said he was opposed to the plan as it would aim to close a polling site in the hamlet of Wadhams. When a similar proposal was made two years ago, he said, residents of that voting district expressed overwhelming opposition.

"My board is completely against it," said Keene supervisor Bill Ferebee. "We have a tough enough time getting voters out, and to get them to drive another 10 to 12 miles is not going to help."

Election commissioners are not required to heed the board's request in their decision, which, according to Scozzafava, needed to be made prior to next week's Board of Supervisors' meeting.

Minerva supervisor Sue Montgomery-Corey said voters in her single-district town already travel great distances to vote, and argued the plan might help solve the problem of recruiting and training new poll workers to replace those aging out of the job.

County Manager Dan Palmer said he advised against consolidation this year since voters will already be experiencing the change that comes with using the new optical scan machines.

Many supervisors agreed more input was needed from election commissioners about the plan and the savings it would create.

Republican commissioner Derinda Sherman, however, was out of town at a state conference for election commissioners, and Democratic commissioner David Mace was out of his office and could not be reached.

"I don't think it's responsible for us to vote on something we don't have the numbers for," said Montgomery-Corey, whose abstention made the vote in favor of the resolution all but unanimous.

When contacted by phone later that evening, Sherman told Denton Publications she could understand the controversy behind the plan, but felt it needed to be presented as a way for the county to reduce costs.

"I had said that I'm OK with not doing it so long as the Board of Supervisors understands the financial implications," she said.

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