I empathize with early voters in Herkimer County upset over conditions at their polling site and I commend Herkimer County elections officials and the Little Falls School District for making the best of a difficult situation.

As reported, the difficulties were caused by a mandate imposed by the State legislature. In their zeal to ameliorate a perceived problem in certain urban areas, the majority party in Albany imposed its will upon every county, including rural ones.

In testimony before the State Legislature and in discussions with several legislators, both State and County election officials have urged them to allow local discretion in determining polling sites. We emphasized a “one size fits all” solution does not always work.

New York State operates on a bi-partisan elections system at the state and local level. The siting of polling places must be approved by both parties. We should trust them to make the right decisions.

Anthony J. Casale
NYS Board of Elections