New Haven polling station to be closed

Clerks await guidance on upcoming election

 

April 16, 2020



County Clerk Linda Fritz formally announced her intention to close the polling station in New Haven for Precinct 23-23 last week. She cited reasons for the decision including the difficulty of securing election judges and the cost of keeping it open.

Fritz sent a letter to all affected voters at the beginning of March, she said, adding, “My intentions are to move their polling station to the Greater Hulett Community Center.”

Of the two election judges who staffed the New Haven polling station in 2018, Fritz explained that one is no longer able to fill the role and the other has since passed on. No new volunteers have stepped up.

The number of people who use the station is low, Fritz continued. In 2018, one election judge told Fritz that the station went four hours without a voter.

“When you look at the cost per person there, especially with the new equipment coming in…it was $40-some dollars to have the equipment up there versus $26 in the courthouse basement,” she said of the cost.

New Haven voters will not lose representation, Fritz assured. They will just need to go to the GHCC.

No concerns or complaints were heard during the public hearing.

Fritz further commented on the overall difficulties associated with organizing the primary election in August, due to the ongoing pandemic. Whether the election will continue as normal or changes will need to be made is not yet known.

“We’re all just sitting in limbo, waiting,” she said of county clerks around the state. A lot goes into putting on an election, she added, so she is hoping decisions will be made soon.

“None of us are prepared – election years are tough enough anyway, but we’re flying by the seat of our pants,” she said.


 
 

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