COUNTY OF SCHENECTADY - CONDADO DE SCHENECTADY

Office of the Board of Elections Oficina de la Junta Electoral
388 Broadway, Suite E Schenectady, New York 12305-2520 Tel./Llame: (518) 377-2469 Fax/Fax: (518) 377-2716 www.voteschenectady.com

Brian L. Quail Arthur Brassard Commissioners Comisionados Amy M. Hild Darlene Harris Deputy Commissioners Comisionados Adjuntos

February 11, 2013

Dear Elected Official: The Schenectady County Board of Elections will conduct a comprehensive poll site and election district review in 2013, with the intention of implementing changes by January 15, 2014. By taking a year for this process, we allow time to gather significant public input. We are hopeful this process will result in a net reduction of twenty-five election districts, and bring a more rational alignment of election districts and poll sites that is more convenient for voters. I. Election District Population

By law, election districts can include up to1,200 voters, and state legislation is pending to make this number higher. Schenectady County is currently divided into 120 election districts. Our smallest district has 366 voters, and our largest has 1,200 with the current average being 771. Our goal is to increase the average election district population to approximately 973. In small districts, the ratio of poll workers to voters is lower than functionally necessary because, by law, every election district must be assigned at least four inspectors. Accordingly, in an election district with 366 voters (our smallest), there are 92 voters for each poll worker. In the average sized district, there are 192 voters per poll worker. In the largest districts, we have one poll worker serving 300 voters, provided we do not assign extra workers to reduce this ratio.

By decreasing the size variance between election districts, we can improve the allocation of resources so voters are better served. For the voting public, the result will be better and faster service at lower cost.

Today, the ideal election district size, given the capacity of the new voting systems is approximately 1,000. If the average election district size were increased to the optimal 1,000 voters, Schenectady County would have twenty-five fewer districts: Municipality Duanesburg Glenville Niskayuna Princetown Rotterdam City of Schenectady TOTAL # of ED 2013 05 27 20 02 24 42 120 #EDs 2014 05 21 16 02 20 31 95

II.

Poll Sites

While Schenectady County now has more election districts than needed, the Board of Elections believes the current number of poll sites is likely optimal. There are 57 poll sites serving the voters of Schenectady County, and they are divided among the towns and city in rough proportion to voter population. Our plan is leave the current number of poll sites unchanged, adding or subtracting only as exigency may require. Municipality Duanesburg Glenville Niskayuna Princetown Rotterdam City of Schenectady TOTAL # of Poll Sites 04 12 09 02 11 19 57

As always, poll site availability, accessibility or voter convenience may require some poll site changes.

III.

The Process The goals of the 2014 election district reconfiguration are: • Reduce number of districts to 95.

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Draw districts in compact form that reflect natural neighborhood divisions, voter convenience and natural traffic patterns. Draw districts that marry well with poll sites so voters have a convenient polling location. Draw districts and assign poll sites to them that take into account availability of public transportation and pedestrian convenience. Avoid changing a voter’s poll site whenever possible. To the extent possible respect fire districts, school districts boundaries.

To accomplish this, the Board of Elections will: • Hold Six Public Scoping Sessions. Prior to proposing any specific changes, we will hold a public meeting in each town and city to seek public comments relating to proposals for aligning election district boundaries and assigning poll sites for them. The meetings will be noticed on our website, announced by letter to local officials, advertised in public postings and by press advisories. These meetings will occur in March or April of 2013. Publish Draft Plan For Comment. After the public scoping sessions, the Board of Elections will widely publish a draft election district and poll site assignment plan for 2014 by August 1, 2013. Convene Two Public Hearings on the Draft Plan. We will hold at least two public hearing sessions to obtain feedback on the draft election district plan. The hearings will be noticed on our website, announced by letter to local officials, advertised in public postings and by press advisories. We will hold these public hearings in August of 2013. Publish Revised Election District Plan (if necessary) Public Hearing on Revised Plan (if necessary) Adopt Final Election District and Poll Site Plan. Adoption of the new election district configuration and poll site certification for 2014 will occur in or before January of 2014.

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We welcome any questions or suggestions you may have. Very Truly Yours,

Brian Quail Commissioner

Art Brassard Commissioner

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