Ticonderoga polling site moving

Voting to be at Ti Middle School

— For the first time in decades, Ticonderoga voters will have a new polling site in 2012.

Local residents will cast their ballots at the Ticonderoga Middle School auditorium this year. Voting had been at the Ticonderoga fire house for years.

“It’s a really wonderful space,” said Robert “Chooch” Pell-deChame of Ticonderoga, Essex County Democratic election commissioner. “There is plenty of space for setting up the voting booths and tables for the inspectors.

“I think people are going to like the new site,” he added. “It’s very easy to reach, it’s handicap accessible, has great parking and is a site a lot of people are very familiar with.”

Voting had been at the Ti fire house for as long as Pell-deChame and others can remember. However, the Ticonderoga Fire District board of fire commissioners earlier this year notified the Essex County Board of Elections the fire house would no longer be available for voting.

“It’s going to be a very busy year and the fire commissioners expressed concern that voting could conflict with some of their events at the fire house,” Pell-deChame said.

Paul LaRock, secretary of the Ticonderoga Fire District Board of Commissioners, said the decision to remove the polls from the fire house is because voting has interfered with firefighting operations in the past.

“It has interrupted our operations,” LaRock said of voting. “We’ve had people park in front of the bay doors making it difficult, if not impossible, to get our trucks out in an emergency. We have to be certain we can respond to keep our taxpayers covered and safe.”

There were also concerns with the condition election inspectors left in the fire house.

“To be honest, they didn’t clean up after themselves,” LaRock said. “We’ve have to have someone come in and clean up the place after every election.”

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