MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County’s 80,000 registered voters will be casting their ballots in 20 percent fewer election districts this fall.
The county will have 99 districts, down from 124, Election Commissioners Norman P. Green and Brian C. Abram announced Monday. The biggest reduction will be in Jamestown, where 24 districts will be consolidated into 19.
Abram said the reduction will reduce the confusion caused when several districts vote at the same polling place.
“We also want to take full advantage of cost savings available to us due to new voting equipment that will accommodate a significantly higher number of voters than the old lever voting machine technology,” he added.
Voters will be notified by mail later this month of their districts and polling places. A second mailing will be sent out in October to voters whose poll sites have changed or who have moved.
Poll site information also can be obtained by calling the Board of Elections at 753-4580 or visiting www.votechautauqua.com.
The commissioners said that changes in Jamestown are related to the redrawing of County Legislature districts and the availability of polling places.
A new poll site at the Gateway Train Station, 211 Second St., will replace two previous sites.
Legislature reapportionment also was cited in reducing districts in the City of Dunkirk from 12 to 11. There will be no changes in the location of polling places there.
Districts in the Town of Pomfret, which includes Fredonia, will be reduced from 10 to eight, but voters will continue to use their regular polling sites.
The biggest cutback outside Jamestown is in the Town of Busti, where there will be five districts instead of eight. All Lakewood residents now will cast ballots in Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 35 W. Fairmount Ave.
The only increase is in the Town of Ellicott, which will have 10 districts, up from nine. A new polling place for northern Ellicott will be set up in Girl Scout headquarters at 2661 Horton Road. All Celoron residents will have a new polling location in the Celoron Community Building, 47 Dunham Ave.
In the towns of Carroll, Charlotte, Clymer, Ellery, Gerry, Hanover, Kiantone, Ripley, Sheridan, Stockton and Westfield the number of districts was reduced, but polling places remain the same.
There will be no changes at all in 12 townships – Arkwright, Cherry Creek, Town of Dunkirk, Ellington, French Creek, Harmony, Mina, North Harmony, Poland, Portland, Sherman and Villenova.
“We want to assure voters that we have moved cautiously with election district reductions,” Commissioner Green noted. “Brian and I are committed to a stress-free voter experience ... with minimum wait time to vote.”