Voter flare-up spurs effort to move polling sites from schools

Parents and school officials called on the Board of Elections Friday about choosing different areas, other than schools, as polling places.

A number of school superintendents, including Middle Country's Dr. Roberta Gerold, no longer want schools used as polling places.

A number of school superintendents, including Middle Country's Dr. Roberta Gerold, no longer want schools used as polling places. (4/22/16)

LAKE GROVE - A number of school superintendents, including Middle Country’s Dr. Roberta Gerold, no longer want schools used as polling places.

A situation involving an angry voter occurred Tuesday at Eugene Auer Elementary School in Lake Grove. Witnesses say a voter saw the name of Ben Carson, who is no longer running for president, on a ballot and became irate. The voter was escorted from the building but returned and initiated another confrontation. The man who caused the scene was questioned by police, but was not charged.

“We're very, very careful with all of our security procedures,” says Gerold. “But when schools are used as polling sites, all of those security procedures are turned off for the day.”

Nick LaLota, Suffolk's Republican elections commissioner, says schools make up about two-thirds of all the polling sites in Suffolk. He says another option could be considered. 

“School districts would probably shut down on election days, which I think is probably the safest and most advisable option for everybody,” says LaLota.

About a dozen districts have expressed concern over voting in schools.

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