EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Pending approval of the governor, the Eastchester Fire District will no longer feature a separate day for its elections, which would instead take place during the November general election on a separate ballot.
A bill consolidating the elections passed the state Senate on Thursday, Sen. George Latimer announced. The measure, proposed by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88), passed the Assembly last week.
It will be forwarded to the governor for his signature or veto.
Paulin and Latimer recently held a public forum at the Eastchester Public Library to solicit feedback from the community regarding the proposed date change. Residents expressed their desire to move the election away from its normal December date to a month when the weather is more temperate and more voters can get to the polls.
Latimer said that on average, less than 5 percent of the registered voters in the district cast a vote during the election.
“A significant number of residents told us they wanted a change in the date,” he said. “By consolidating the election dates for the fire district elections with the general election, Eastchester residents will be able to vote in the general election at the same time as the election for the fire district commissioners.”
Moving forward, the Eastchester fire district elections will be held on a separate ballot at every polling place that is already open for the general election in November. At the public forum, residents said it was important that the fire district elections remain on a separate ballot to maintain a non-political nature.
“As a former League of Women Voters president, I strongly believe in franchising voters,” Paulin said. “By moving the election to Election Day in November, voters will have longer hours to vote in their usual polling places. The goal is an increase in the voter turnout for the fire district election.”
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