With a limited budget and an extra primary election this year, the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections is finding ways to save money. One way is to cut down on polling places for this month’s presidential primary. Board of Election Commissioners say this is an easy way to save a few dollars without causing an inconvenience to voters. Cara Thomas has more.
CANTON, N.Y. -- The 2012 presidential primary election is almost here and the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections is getting ready. But with only one political party to choose from this time around, the Board of Elections says they are better able to consolidate and save a little bit more money.
Jennie Bacon, Board of Elections' Democratic Commissioner, said, "This year, we will consolidate polling sites because it's only a one party primary."
With only one party on the ballot, not as many voters are eligible to vote. So this year, they're cutting their resources in half. Hiring fewer election inspectors and offering fewer locations to place a vote. Bacon says this year they need to be extra careful with how they use their budget.
"Budgets are tight, we also have an extra primary election this year. With the federal non-presidential election being in June, it just adds another election, something we did not budget for," she said.
For this month's primary election, the number of polling places will be reduced from 61 to 33, leaving only one per town. But the Board of Elections says they don't believe this decrease will be a huge inconvenience for the voters.
Bacon said, "There's still going to be one per township, it doesn't make anyone have to travel overly far to get to the polling place."
And voters agree. They say any way the county can save money is welcomed.
"That would be great to have one instead of two. That would be a cut on the tax payers not having to pay a big tax."
"I think anyone who votes in a primary is going to be motivated enough to go wherever they need to go."
Bacon says absentee ballots are always available for anyone who can't make it to the poll.
Primary elections to choose a republican presidential candidate will be held on April 24th. The polls will be open from noon until 9 p.m. A list of locations can be found online.