By DENISE A. RAYMO
---- — MALONE — The first deadline to find new polling places in Malone passed, but election commissioners in Franklin County now say they have until May 1 to have sites finalized.
Commissioners Veronica King (Republican) and Kelly Cox (Democrat) told legislators earlier this month they could save money on inspectors and time on voting-machine transportation if they consolidated election districts.
They say some of the existing polling sites pose security problems and must be relocated.
The commissioners’ biggest hurdle is condensing Malone’s 10 districts into three because they cannot find suitable buildings.
They have considered the Quality of Life Building on Bare Hill Road, the Knights of Columbus on Elm Street, St. John Bosco Church on West Street and the former Bishop Smith School on Webster Street. But no final decisions have been made.
The best case would be finding a building large enough with ample parking to hold all of the town’s districts, the commissioners have said.
But they have had no luck finding such a place to replace the sites they use now.
The prospect of using Holy Family School raises parking constraints and student-safety concerns, and the Malone Adult Center houses the Meals on Wheels program and is a congregate-meal site for seniors.
King and Cox said Monday that “nothing has changed” since they asked legislators to suggest possible available sites.
Tupper Lake has already consolidated its five districts into one at the former Holy Ghost Academy.
Bellmont is now in two sites instead of three, with voters in election Districts 1 and 2 going to the Town Hall in Brainardsville and those in District 3 still using the Owls Head Fire Station.
Fort Covington has moved all its polling sites to the Fort Covington Fire Department, Chateaugay voters will now cast their ballots at the Village Offices, and Brushton and Moira polling sites will be consolidated at the Town Highway garage.
All voters will be notified by mail of the polling-site changes.
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