2012-09-06 / Front Page

Polls open Tuesday for primary

Voters choose Democratic Town Council candidates
BY TIM RIEL

Polls open in Jamestown Tuesday and registered Democratic and unaffiliated voters will have the option to vote for as many as five Town Council candidates that they would like to see survive the primary and advance to November’s general election.

Incumbents Bob Bowen, Bill Murphy, Mike Schnack and Mike White will be joined on the ballot by George Levesque, Mary Meagher, Gene Mihaly, Tom Tighe and Kristine Trocki. Because there are nine Democrats running for five seats, a primary must take place to narrow the party’s candidates down to an equal or lesser number than the total seats available. Out of seven races this year, it is the only primary that Jamestown voters will participate in.

There will be some changes in this year’s election. The town redistricted after state legislators approved a bill to allow more voters at each polling place. Instead of three districts in Jamestown, there will only be two. Registered voters in District 1 will cast their ballots at Town Hall, while voters in District 2 will cast their ballots at Lawn Avenue School. Melrose Avenue School will no longer be a polling place because of redistricting, and Town Hall replaced the recreation center because the center doesn’t comply with the federal disabilities act.

The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Canvassing Clerk Karen Montoya said that she mailed a postcard to the home of every registered voter on the island alerting them of the district change, but barely anyone read it.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people since then, and I’d say that one out of 100 people read that card,” she said. The districts can be found on the town’s website. In the “town government” drop-down menu, select “voting.” Residents can find both links to the voting district map and a list of streets in each district.

Out of 4,804 registered voters in Jamestown, 4,065 are eligible to vote Tuesday – 1,397 Democrats, and 2,668 voters who are unaffiliated. Registered voters on the island who are not allowed to vote in the Democratic primary include 713 Republicans and six Moderates.

Another change in this year’s election is that identification is needed to cast a vote. Photo IDs that will be accepted include a state driver’s license, a state voter ID card, a state-issued ID, a U.S.- issued ID, a U.S. passport, an ID from a U.S. educational institution, a military ID, a governmentissued medical card, an employee ID card, a credit or debit card with a photo, a health club card, an insurance card, and a public housing card. Addresses on photo IDs don’t need to match the address on the voting list, but the ID must be valid and not expired.

If a voter doesn’t have a photo ID, they can still vote in this year’s election. Photo IDs won’t be required until 2014, but this year still requires identification. Acceptable IDs include a birth certificate, a Social Security card, a government issued medical card, a utility bill, a bank statement, a lease or rental statement, a student ID, a tuition statement, and an insurance card. All non-photo IDs – excluding birth certificate, Social Security card and medical card – must include the current address of the voter, and it must be dated since the last general election on Nov. 2, 2010.

The top five vote getters in the Democratic primary will run in the general election on Nov. 6 against Republicans Blake Dickinson and Paul Sprague, and Independents Ellen Winsor, Evan Katz, William Harsch and Dan Capuano.

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