EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

October 3, 2013

Rockingham Park becomes new polling place

Moderator also wants to add one more polling place


“I just couldn’t entertain the risk there would be in a binding vote for gaming in this community in which one of the polling places was at the facility where that gaming would occur,” Goodnow said.

He said state Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, assured him Salem residents wouldn’t be voting on the casino issue in March.

Callahan said yesterday he was glad to offer the use of Rockingham Park, which would only be used for the March election.

“We generally do what we can to help out the community,” he said.

Goodnow also told selectmen he wanted to establish a committee to consider a redistricting plan after long lines developed at some polling places during the presidential election last year.

Some voters became angry and frustrated after waiting in line for nearly an hour at Fisk School and the Ingram Senior Center.

It won’t be the first time voters are asked to consider redistricting.

In 2010, Goodnow proposed consolidating the number of polling places because, he said, the town didn’t need six polling places. Handicapped accessibility was limited and it was difficult to find enough poll workers to staff them.

The reduction was approved in 2011. Barron School, Soule School and Town Hall were eliminated and the Ingram Senior Center was added, reducing the number of polling places to four.

Now, Goodnow recommends increasing the number of polling places to five.

The redistricting committee, which would include Town Clerk Susan Wall and voting checklist supervisors, will consider the various options, he said.

“I think we have to do something in March 2014 to get it on the ballot,” Goodnow said.

Goodnow recommended the redistricting occur in March, but some selectmen were concerned it would cause problems after Rockingham Park was added as a location. They recommended it take effect later.

“I can just see a lot of confusion with two changes,” Selectman Stephen Campbell said.

Chairman Everett McBride Jr. agreed.

“I think it would be a mistake,” he said.

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