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Yorktown Clerk: District Changes May Confuse Voters, Out of Town's Hands

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Voting district lines have changed in Northern Yorktown, which has split one district into four, causing potential confusion for voters in next Tuesday’s primary.

Town Clerk Alice Roker is concerned about problems that may arise as a result of the district line changes, however, she said only the Westchester County Board of Elections has the right to change district voting lines, which they have done for this coming election.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, a week before the Republican, Conservative and Independence primaries, Roker announced that two voting locations have changed and residents in district 32 are being split into four different districts.

“What our big issue is that two of our (voting) public places have been changed,” Roker said. For those individuals who used to vote at Mildred E. Strang Middle School, they will vote at Mohansic School, and those who used to vote at French Hills School will vote in the gymnasium at the Yorktown Community Cultural Center. Roker said the change of location from the middle school to Mohansic was done to ease a lack of parking situation, however Roker said she is still concerned the new location won’t alleviate the situation.

The other issues lie in the redistribution of the voters who were a part of the former district 32, and now part of 19, 5, 20, 31.

“The board of elections, which is now in charge of the map, they have now chosen to eliminate one of the districts, and that’s district number 32, and that’s all the way in the northern end of Yorktown, and it was one of two districts that voted at Thomas Jefferson,” she said.

Roker said that under the Helping Americans to Vote Act (HAVA), the county board of elections can change the voting map and the electronic voting machines — she said the town has no control over such decisions.

“Most people tend to think we do this, but with the HAVA law we don't -- the town used to work on this until HAVA went into effect, once HAVA went into effect it became the jurisdiction of the board of elections,” she said.

According to HAVA, enacted in 2002, voting locations must have at least one system available to people with disabilities.

Roker urged residents who live in northern Yorktown to call her office, at 962-5722, ext. 209, or the board of elections at 914-995-5700 for clarification.

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