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Single polling place for vote

Bethlehem board sets referendum to remove highway superintendent job

— The other option would be to have the vote work similarly to a school district vote in which any resident in the town over the age of 18 would able to vote without registering, but then because of the differences in state laws, the town would be unable to offer absentee ballots.

“We felt that was something important that needed to be offered to the public,” said Clarkson.

He said one location was chosen not so much due to extra cost, but in order to cut down on confusion. To save money, the town will not be using the electronic voting systems from the county, but instead will be printing out own paper ballots to be counted by hand. Absentee ballot information will be available at the Town Clerk’s Office and on the town website.

Some residents characterized using one location as a political move to ensure Democrats would be more likely to come out and vote for the plan. Others asked why the vote could not wait until November or why the town needed to change the way the position was filled at all.

Clarkson, Councilman Bill Reinhardt and Councilman Kyle Kotary all voted in favor of the referendum as written. Councilman Jeffery Kuhn was not present. Councilwoman Joann Dawson voted against the measure, saying she now felt the previous resolution setting the day of the vote could be changed back to allow the vote to happen in November, or to allow the election of the highway position for one term and put the abolishment proposal on the ballot in 2013, when no one is running.

“John (Clarkson), I can’t sit here as a member of the board and not trust our voters to select a good person,” she said. “I feel a little uncomfortable with that. They elected you, they elected me twice.”

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