The City Council approved a request from Election Commissioner Diane Colella seeking to move the Ward 4, Precinct 2 polling from the Central Fire Station to the Immaculate Conception Church.
Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe began the debate on the issue by stating that he was in favor of the change after discussing it with his constituents and considering other locations.
“The Immaculate Conception Church seems to be a really nice location. It’s pretty central. There’s parking and there’s really no disruption during the polling times,” said Keefe.
Councillor-at-Large Steven Morabito asked about moving the original polling place out of Ward 4 and in to Ward 1.
“We cannot find any other place [in Ward 4] that is suitable,” responded Colella.
Morabito inquired whether “if it would make more sense to combine two Ward 4 precincts” and have all those voters cast their ballots at the Lighthouse Nursing Home.
Colella said the Lighthouse has a small parking lot just for staff and visitors “and we already explored that avenue and it just wouldn’t work for us.”
“I just think it’s a bit confusing to move it [the polling location] out of the ward,” said Morabito.
Colella said her office will be sending a postcard to every voter who will be affected by the change in polling location.
Morabito asked about possibly having all voters in the city cast their ballots at Revere High School. Colella said she intends to come before the City Council at a later date with a proposal about consolidating the locations of polls.
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers asked about the early-morning use of the Immaculate Conception Church parking lot by parents transporting their children to the Immaculate Conception School. He also mentioned the use of the lot by voters who cast their ballots at the Youth Center.
“Is the parking lot with all this going on going to be adequate [on Election Day]?” asked Powers
“Even sharing the lot with the people from the Youth Center and the parents dropping off their children, we’d still be in a better position that we are currently [at Central Fire Station],” replied Colella.
Councillor-at-Large Tony Zambuto suggested having the voters who currently cast their ballots at the Youth Center also vote at the Immaculate Conception Church.
Colella told Zambuto said she would like to make one polling location change at a time before considering his suggestion.
Council President Arthur Guinasso felt that Zambuto’s suggestion “requires more conversation” but (addressing Commissioner Colella), Guinasso added, “I do think, this is something for the future, when you do decide to have a conversation with the police chief [about polling locations], I think the City Council membership should be there.”