CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Board of Elections has issued rulings on two petitions to move polling locations for the 2019 general election.
At a public hearing Tuesday, the board listened to the benefits and drawbacks of both petitions.
Treasure Lake – Approved
The board heard from Director of Elections Dawn Graham and Treasure Lake Judge of Elections Susan Gelfand regarding the petition to move the polling location from North Point Fire Station to the Treasure Lake Church.
Graham said upon receiving the petition, she and the board visited the church. Graham said the polling location will be in the gym by the lower parking lot.
She said the area is handicapped accessible from the lower parking lot, and there is also an elevator if a voter enters from the upper parking lot by mistake.
She said there is handicapped parking and the board will be creating two temporary handicapped parking spaces closer to the doors. She also said signs directing voters to the church will be placed.
Gelfand said there has been a lot of problems at the fire station during elections. She said the fire department has performed maintenance on the trucks while the elections were being held, which caused exhaust fumes to enter the polling area.
She said there has also been instances when there has been oil on the floor and the fire department had to be asked to clean it up to prevent fall hazards.
She said the fire department has also turned on the air compressor, causing excessive noise and refused to turn up the heat in the building.
“They don’t want us there,” Gelfand said. “They made that very clear at the last election.” Gelfand said there is also no place for people to wait to vote if the weather is bad.
She said the church has a large common area where people can wait out of the rain and cold.
The board voted to approve the relocation to the church.
Bigler Township – Denied
The board heard from Graham and residents of Bigler Township regarding the petition to move the polling location from the Bigler Township Building to the Madera Fire Hall.
Graham said she and the board have inspected the location. She said the township has worked to improve the building.
She said the building now meets ADA handicapped accessibility requirements and there is a paved walkway/path to access the building.
She said there are still concerns with the lighting, but the township is in the process of improving the problems. Ron Repak, solicitor for the township, said the township has gone to “considerable expense” to improve the building for the upcoming election.
He said in 2016, during the Presidential Election, when voter turn-out is typically higher than during municipal elections, there were 627 voters who turned out.
He said the parking was adequate. Repak said that while 31 residents have signed the petition in favor of the move, over 100 residents signed a petition against the move.
He said the polling location has been in the same building for 48 years without incident. Repak said the township has improved the building and met all the requirements of the election board.
The board voted to deny the request to move the Bigler Township polling location.