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Sun., Oct. 4
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Poll site on Watertown’s north side changed for Nov. 5 general election


A major change in poll site locations announced Wednesday by the Jefferson County Board of Elections will affect approximately 2,500 voters who previously have voted at the North Side Improvement League on Mill Street.

Those voters, who reside in election districts 14/1 and 15/1, will vote Tuesday in Dostie Hall at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 302 W. Lynde St.

The change of venue was made in consultation with Jefferson County Legislators Jennie M. Adsit, R-Watertown, and Anthony J. Doldo, R-Watertown, according to a news release from Board of Elections officials.

Republican Election Commissioner Jerry O. Eaton said that move was made after concerns arose about the viability of the site, which has been battling financial difficulties for the past several years.

“We just can’t have that kind of risk with 2,500 voters in a competitive City Council race,” Mr. Eaton said.

Though an announcement was expected Tuesday from the league, none was forthcoming, and Mr. Eaton said the decision was made to move the polling site.

“We weren’t given any assurances privately” that the site would be usable, Mr. Eaton said.

Every registered voter in the affected districts will be notified of the change by mail, officials said in the release.

Mr. Eaton and Democratic Commissioner Babette M. Hall said that despite some small problems that have cropped up in recent days, the board is fully prepared to run the election Tuesday.

The commissioners acknowledged that two Clayton residents were accidentally sent Cape Vincent ballots but said the mix-up had been fixed and the correct ballots had been sent.

A ballot issue brought to his attention Wednesday morning gave Mr. Eaton heart palpitations.

Lyme Town Council candidate Anne M. Harris was left off the ballot as a Conservative, although she is endorsed by that party.

Her name was not included on the ballot because the board did not receive a certificate of authorization from the Conservative Party, Mr. Eaton and Ms. Hall said.

She was notified of the situation in July, according to officials.

What caused the error is unclear. Mrs. Harris said she turned in her designating petitions on the same day as fellow Conservative Party member Donald R. Bourquin.

Her endorsement was confirmed by party representative Harry F. Staudenmayer in a letter to the editor published in Tuesday’s Times.

Mrs. Harris said she was unfazed by the oversight.

She is still listed on the ballot as a Republican, she said.

Parking for those voting at Dostie Hall is available behind the church and on Thompson Street next to the church. Voting will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday.

If voters have questions or concerns, they are encouraged to call the Jefferson County Board of Elections at 785-3027.

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