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Voting to be held at Community Center

  • Election Day at the Armory in Peterborough in 2016. Town voting will be moved to the Armory going forward. Staff photo by Ben Conant



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Select Board has decided in a split decision that moving forward, the town will now be holding voting at the Peterborough Community Center, rather than the Town House.

The town used the Community Center for the 2016 presidential election, because the larger space and additional parking were needed for the expected turnout. Following that experience, the Select Board started to discuss whether the Community Center would be a better location for all elections, mainly based on better accessibility and more readily available parking.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Select Board member Barbara Miller said she was in favor of the move.

“I recommend we hold as much of voting as we can at the Community Center,” she said.

Member Ed Juengst agreed, saying that the feedback he’d seen from the experience was largely positive.

Chair Tyler Ward, however, advocated for voting to remain at the Town House.

“This building is the seat of our domain. If we’re doing elections elsewhere, why are we putting $1 million into this building?” asked Ward, referencing a plan for major renovations to the building, which includes overhauling the auditorium where voting and Town Meeting is held. 

“I like the idea of holding presidential elections at the Community Center, but the rest of the elections are relatively low turn out,” said Ward.

And as Miller and Juengst remained in favor of continuing to hold the town’s deliberative session and Town Meeting at the Town House, Ward thought there may be ongoing confusion among the public.

“How is that not confusing to people?” he asked.

He was also concerned about finding a secure way to transport voting records between the Town House and the Community Center.

“There’s no easy answer, but we do have to think of parking and accessibility,” said Town Clerk Linda Guyette. 

Ultimately, Miller moved to hold all four of next year’s elections at the Community Center, with the deliberative session and the open session remaining at the Town House, which was seconded by Juengst. The vote was 2-1, with Ward opposed. 

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.