Niagara Gazette — Preparations for the Lewiston special referendum are complete. Now all the town needs is for today’s special vote to commence.
Town Clerk Carol Brandon said the vote, which will determine whether Lewiston town officials have authority to bond the approximately $9 million cost they say it would take to build the Lewiston Civic Center, will be at one polling place for the entire town to cast their ballots.
It may be a long morning, afternoon and evening for election inspectors and clerk’s office employees, with polling scheduled for 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. today at Town Hall, 1375 Ridge Road, Lewiston, but Brandon said all scenarios have been accounted for in planning.
“It’s been a huge criticism I’ve heard, having it at only one site,” Brandon said. “But we’ll have three chairmen on-site throughout the entire vote. We are prepared for everything no matter what.”
Brandon said in addition to election workers, expect a police presence at town hall for the vote during certain hours. Because she and her staff have never needed to work a special election like this vote, she said there was much research done to find out what is permissible on the grounds and what isn’t.
Vocal people on both sides of the issue, she said, will not be permitted and will be asked to leave as soon as they begin expressing their opinions. Police will be called immediately if anything gets out of hand, she said. And late voters will be dealt with by police as well, so expect to see a uniformed officer if voting after 8 p.m., she said.
“We’ll have a uniformed officer on hand at 8 p.m.,” she said. “We looked this up: When the clock hits 9 p.m., the officer will get in line. If you’re in line to vote before then, you can vote. But if the officer is in line, anybody who comes in after him will not be allowed to vote.”
Because of the lack of alternate polling places, some are offering services to drive voters to the polling place in order to cast their vote. Lewiston Democrat Committee Chairwoman Diane Roberts said a service is available for anyone voting before 4 p.m. today, which can be reached by telephone by calling 405-7359.
Those unable to make it to Town Hall at all and are voting by absentee ballot have their own rules to follow, Brandon said.
To file an absentee ballot, an application must first be picked up at Town Hall. Once the ballot is issued, she added, it must be completed and returned to town hall before 4:30 p.m. Monday. Failure to complete these steps will result in the ballot not being counted, she said.Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.