Selectboard logo, May 20, 2019

 The Select Board has decided on the polling changes it prefers, but the Feb. 7 vote was preliminary, with final action expected later.

“We will not have a final vote tonight for the town’s polling locations, but a preliminary vote of what the board would like,” Town Clerk Juli Brazile told the board that night. “A special language act was passed that supplants the standard process for the Select Board in designating polling locations. It was an outgrowth of a lot of communities making changes during the pandemic.”

Brazile said she must conduct a detailed site study for the secretary of state’s elections division “to evaluate the accessibility for any new space that we’re interested in using. When that’s approved, we may need to take a final vote.”

She said the board must also issue a statement indicating that they’ve looked at the plan. Any location changes “will have no adverse effect on accessibility based on race, national origin, disability or age,” added Brazile.

Town Counsel Doug Heim said, “Arlington is well positioned to make sure that people have access to the polls, and we’ve lots of data to confirm that. We have 11 polling locations in just 5½ square miles and, in theory, we could have only one.” 

Preliminary polling locations

The board recommends the following preliminary polling locations in these precincts: 

1 – Thompson School;

2 – Hardy School;

3 – Thompson;

4 – Hardy;

5 – Gibbs School;

6 – Hardy;

7 – Gibbs;

8, 9 and 10 – all at Town Hall;

11 – Bishop School;

12 – Brackett School;

13 – Stratton School;

14 – Brackett;

15 – Stratton;

16 – Dallin School;

17 – Peirce School;

18 – Dallin;

19 – Peirce;

20 – Dallin; and

21 – Peirce.

Regarding use of the new high school, board Chair Steve DeCourcey said, “It’s too early to be talking about the high school while it’s still under construction.”

Board member Diane Mahon said, "I don’t think we should look at the high school for at least two years until it’s finalized.”

Board member Eric Helmuth added, “I’d like to see the high school used in the long-term, once it’s completed because it solves some location problems. I don’t mind looking at this year as a transition. It’s important to make it easy for people to vote, and I lean toward a workable solution in the short-term.” 

Watch the whole Feb. 7 Select Board meeting on ACMi:

YourArlington 2022 Town Election information

This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.