Unexpected change to longstanding polling location in Roeland Park has some voters upset

first_imgThe move of a polling location in Roeland Park to St. Agnes Catholic Church has prompted push back from some residents.Some Roeland Park residents are raising concerns after learning that the Johnson County Election Office had shifted a longstanding polling location ahead of November’s election.Residents of precinct 2-02 in Roeland Park had been voting at the Bishop Miege North Campus, which is home to Horizons Academy, for more than 10 years, and voted there during this summer’s primaries. But as certificates of voter registration cards began hitting mailboxes in recent days, residents noticed that the polling site location had been shifted to St. Agnes Catholic Church.The distance between the two sites isn’t particularly significant — they’re only about half a mile apart — but a couple of factors about the move had some residents balking at the change. For one, both of the candidates running for the Ward 2 seat on the Roeland Park city council, Benjamin Dickens and Leonard Tocco, had already distributed literature encouraging people to show up at the Horizons site to vote on Nov. 5. The election office didn’t give the candidates notice that it was planning to make the change before they started their campaigning.A handful of residents have also expressed concerns about St. Agnes as a polling place because one of the Ward 2 candidates has ties to the church. Tocco is a parishioner at St. Agnes, and his wife is a teacher at the school there.Tocco’s campaign issued the following statement on the matter, saying the decision was entirely that of the election office:“The decision to locate an additional precinct to St. Agnes was made by the Election Office—entirely independent of my campaign. While I fully understand the community’s concern regarding the optics of this move, I’m disappointed by the implication that there could be some kind of malfeasance where there is none. I will support any future precinct changes if the Election Office deems it necessary. Right now, I’m focused on continuing to run a positive campaign, connecting with voters and finding new ways to improve the lives of my friends, family, and neighbors here in Roeland Park.”Johnson County Election Office officials said the committee of staff members tasked with setting polling locations across the county met on August 21 to finalize sites for the general election cycle. According to county spokeswoman Lori Sand, the election office had received complaints about heating and cooling issues at the Horizons Academy site as well as a lack of sufficient electrical outlets to operate the voting equipment. Those concerns led the committee to determine St. Agnes would be a better site for voters.“We routinely receive feedback from voters and election workers on the conditions of polling places after elections,” Sand said. “For Bishop Miege North Campus we received comments about the heating and cooling as well as the lack of enough electrical outlets to meet our needs. Again, we appreciate the donation of space, however, we were able to provide another polling place for this Ward that better met the needs of our office and the voters.”Sand noted that it’s not uncommon for polling locations to change. Five additional precincts had their polling sites shift ahead of the fall cycle, she said.Still, some in the city have been lobbying for the office to consider an alternate location for the precinct in question, noting that St. Agnes doesn’t even sit in Ward 2. Jen Hill, a member of the Roeland Park city council, has been in contact with the election office about the issue and suggested alternates to St. Agnes as a site to election officials. (She notes that she made those contacts as a citizen, not a representative of the city). She said election officials told her there was nothing that could be done at this point because the registration cards have already been mailed.For his part, Dickens said that while he wasn’t thrilled with the idea of the election being held on the “home turf” of his opponent, his primary concern by far was the thought of pressed-for-time voters showing up at the wrong site on election day.“A lot of working class folks in Roeland Park, they may only have a ten or fifteen minute window at the start or the end of their day to try to get in and cast their ballots,” he said. “If they show up at Horizons and are told they need to go to a different location, that might be enough that they don’t end up voting that day.”Of the decision to change sites, Tocco said he was “comfortable trusting the Election Office to do what’s in the best interest of voters, and I will support any future precinct changes if the Election Office deems it necessary.”Sand said the county will be sending out information about advance voting options to all voters in the coming weeks as well, and that those postcards will have another notice of voters’ polling sites.“They will receive a neon green postcard next week informing them of the advance voting locations and hours, with another reminder of their new voting location,” Sand said.last_img read more

Salybia MP confident that DLP will regain seat

first_img Sharing is caring! 117 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Salybia MP, Ashton Graneau speaking at the DLP ‘Stepping Out’ rally in St. Joseph on May 5, 2014The Member of Parliament for the Salybia Constituency, Ashton Graneau, has expressed confidence that the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) will regain that seat when the next general election is held.The DLP won that seat in the 1990 general election with Worrel I. Sanford as its candidate, but lost in 1995 to Francois Barrie of the United Workers Party (UWP).However, Kelly Graneau, brother of Ashton Graneau, regained the seat for the DLP in 2000 and 2005. Ashton Graneau, who replaced Kelly Graneau at the 2009 general election won the seat with 1, 013 votes while Claudius Sanford, the United Workers Party candidate, obtained 684 votes.“I can assure you that the Labour Party will be returned in the Kalinago Territory in the Salybia constituency,” Ashton Graneau said on state-owned DBS Radio on May 22, 2014.He said the people of that constituency “are still very strong with Labour” based on “all the money that is being spent there”.“Millions of dollars have been spent over the last say nine years or more. I mean people are grateful for that, they’re happy that the government is really delivering,” he added.Mr Graneau indicated that the UWP’s candidate, deputy leader Claudius Sanford is “not strong enough” to give the DLP “serious competition”.“Claudius has not made himself available to the people. In the first place he does not live in the Kalinago Territory, secondly he’s not that involved community wise,” he said. According to Graneau, UWP supporters in the Salybia Constituency are “not totally satisfied” that Mr Sandford was “placed under the carpet so to speak with regard to the leadership of the United Workers Party”. Following the resignation of former prime minister Edison James as UWP’s leader last year August, journalist Lennox Linton was elected political leader at the party’s delegates conference on September 1, 2013, while Claudius Sanford remained deputy leader.“I mean a second time running now he’s been deputy leader, people are talking about he’s gone over and studied over the last six years, he’s better qualified now and his supporters are asking well why is it that he’s not leader of the party, why deputy leader continuously? I think that is one of the issues his supporters are not satisfied with and that will tell in the elections,” Mr Graneau explained. Mr Graneau, who indicated last year that he would not seek re-election, informed that the DLP is “still going through the process” of selecting a replacement candidate.“I did indicate earlier that I was considering not seeking re-election very early, so I think the party knows that and is moving to make the necessary changes,” Mr Graneau said.Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img Share LocalNews Salybia MP confident that DLP will regain seat by: – May 22, 2014 Sharelast_img read more

Spelling bee competitor is T-A-U-T

first_imgEmma qualified for the competition after winning the Daily News Regional Spelling Bee in March. She nailed the correct spelling for “echolalia,” defined as “the pathological repetition of what is said by other people as if imitating them.” Emma, who is home-schooled, said she is uncertain whether she can repeat her March victory and get her name in the record books. The bee’s first-ever champion was Frank Neuhauser, who spelled “gladiolus” correctly back in 1925. The Scripps Howard spelling bee is the largest, longest-running event of its kind in the nation, though competition was halted for three years during World War II. Emma’s mother, Laura, said the family turned Emma’s win and trip to the nation’s capital into a vacation. But there’s always a little time to study. “She’s been studying about an hour a day, and there’s a lot of us quizzing her,” Manning said. “She wakes up every day and says, `There’s seven days left, there’s six days left. …” The competition will begin Wednesday with the preliminary rounds and the quarterfinals. The semifinals will air live Thursday on ESPN beginning at 7 a.m. PDT. The finals will be broadcast locally from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday on ABC. [email protected] (818) 713-3664 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With the title as the nation’s top speller up for grabs, Emma Manning heads into the country’s most famous war of the words with quiet reserve. The 14-year-old Pasadena resident will represent the Daily News as she competes against 286 other students in the 80th annual Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. It doesn’t get any bigger for the best spellers around, but Emma – already in Washington this week with her family – said there’s only so much studying that can be done, and so much luck to go around. “Well, I’m nervous,” she said in a phone interview. “I’ll just do as well as I can. I’d really like to get on TV.” last_img