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September 8, 2016 - 2:00pm

Election commissioners eliminate cost of running two third-party primaries next week

posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.

There is one registered member of the Reform Party in Genesee County, and with a potentially contested race for the nomination in the 61st Senate District, there must be, under state law, a countywide primary election.

That would be the case even if there wasn't also a primary in the 61st District for the Working Families Party, which has 221 registered members in the county.

Those two primaries could have cost county taxpayers $17,000, but election commissioners Dick Siebert and Lorie Longhany worked out a plan and developed a new policy, with guidance from state election officials, to have one consolidated polling station, in County Building #1, for the Sept. 13 primary.

Rather than expending $150 per election machine to have them moved to each of the 17 polling locations in each town and the city, a member of the county's maintenance staff will move five or six machines to County Building #1, the location of the election board's offices, eliminating that cost.

The plan also means fewer ballots need to be printed.

Siebert said the expected turnout is only 15 to 16 voters.

"That might be a high estimate," Longhany said.

The commissioners briefed members of the county's Ways and Means Committee at yesterday's meeting.

The members of both parties were notified of the polling place change through First Class mail and told that if the change presented a hardship, the voter could request an absentee ballot. The commission has received one ballot request.

"I think we have all the bases covered," Longhany said.

For the Reform Party, Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer is the sole official nominee, but a member of the party in the district filed a request  for an "opportunity to ballot," which opens the door for a write-in vote.

For Working Families, there are two nominees for the 61st District line, Thomas A. Loughran and Andre N. Liszka.

County Building #1 is located at 15 Main St., Batavia. The polling stations will be on the second floor and will be handicap accessible through the building's elevator, which is by the entrance on the west side of the building near Ellicott Street.

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