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Karen- I do not find anywhere in  the VSA  section  governing the
conduct and rules of elections, prohibitive language about holding
elections in the basement of a church.  The law is specific about
polling places being accessible to the handicapped, elderly, etc.,
by ensuring that those needs be met. However, no where does it
state that it is illegal to conduct the election in a church hall.
Especially
if there is  nothing else available to the town.  I find that people
really don't have a lot of important, productive  things to do with
their lives, except complain or demand some kind of  attention.
There is always going to be that element present.  However,
I would not hesitate to hold the election in the downstairs hall
in the church, if that was the case here.  If you have met the criteria
for accessibility or accommodating for same, I cannot find anywhere
in the rules governing elections,  anything that even addresses this
issue.  It will be interesting to hear some of the other viewpoints on
this question/dilemna!!!!!
Hang in there kiddo
I'm with you
Mary Zuber
-----Original Message-----
From: Colchester TAX <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000 10:10 AM
Subject: Polling Place Dilemma


>In Colchester we have outgrown our polling place, the Colchester Meeting
>House, in District 1-1. In order to accomodate the numbers for the
>Presidential Election I have worked out a plan with the church that is
>adjacent to our Meeting House place to use the parish hall which is much
>larger and has adequate parking for the primary and general election.
>
>Yesterday I received a call from the Secretary of State's office. They
>received a complaint that we are using a church. I was told that the
>primary could still be held in the hall, as it has already been warned, but
>that I would have to move the November election to a diffierent site. Our
>only other option, the local school, is in session and is not available.
>
>My question is  "Are there other communities out there that vote in
>buildings that are not owned by the municipality?"
>
>17 V.S.A. Sec. 2502(a)  states "Each polling place shall be located in a
>public place within the town."
>
>The church parish hall noted above hosts weekly AA meetings, the Girl and
>Boy Scouts and other nonsectarian groups. I feel it meets the criteria of a
>public place, but am looking for other opinions. My main concern is
>providing an adequate, safe place that can accomodate the numbers we will
>see in November, but want to do the right thing.
>
>
Karen Richard
>