15 Sep 2014
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'Radical Departure' Planned for Wenham Polling Place

The Wenham Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted to move the town's polling place from Buker Elementary School to Town Hall beginning in 2012.

'Radical Departure' Planned for Wenham Polling Place 'Radical Departure' Planned for Wenham Polling Place 'Radical Departure' Planned for Wenham Polling Place

Bye, bye Buker.

That's what the Wenham Board of Selectmen said on Tuesday when it decided that Wenham elections would be held in beginning in March 2012.

For years, the polls were set up in the School's gym for each election. In recent years, the school was not in session for major elections.

Because of  about how many days off students have during the fall – and specifically November - school officials had asked town leaders in both Hamilton and Wenham to examine moving polls from the school to another building.

Town Clerk Trudy Reid and Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren said they determined this week that the polls can be set up in the Selectmen's meeting room in Town Hall.

"A good trial run will be March of 2012," Reid said, when the presidential primary will be held.

"It is a tight fit and it is not going to give us the space we are used to," Reid said.

Board member John Clemenzi said the only drawback would be removing a real life-learning lesson from the schools.

"It gives our children a chance to see politics, voting and the huge responsibility of voting firsthand," Clemenzi said.

But the schools are often closed during elections, said Chairman Molly Martins, and the lessons often don't turn to politics on election day because schools don't teach civics in the same way they taught it when she was in school.

Selectman Harriet Davis, who joined the other two board members in supporting the move – although no formal vote was taken – called the move a "radical departure."

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