April 23, 2018
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Committee recommends polling consolidation for all elections

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — If the city is planning to consolidate its polling places from four down to one for special elections, it might as well do it for all elections.

That was the consensus of the Bangor Polling Realignment Committee, which met last week to discuss the idea and agreed to move forward with that recommendation to the city council.

The council is expected take up the matter at a meeting in February.

City Clerk Patti Dubois first brought the consolidation proposal to city councilors in December, but her suggestion was only for special elections and primary elections, which typically have lower turn-outs. Some councilors liked the idea so much, they figured ‘why not consolidate for all elections?”

Dubois took that suggestion to the polling realignment committee, which is made up of city warden clerks, polling volunteers and others, for discussion.

After about two hours of hashing out the pros and cons, the committee agreed that having only one polling place — the Bangor Civic Center — would streamline efficiency, reduce confusion and margin-ally reduce costs.

“It’s a pretty drastic change we’re proposing,” Dubois said. “But with a special election coming up in June and the next presidential election a ways off, this will allow us to ease into the idea.”

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