Middletown has polling changes; new voting machines introduced

By Brian Sweeney
Some Town of Middletown residents will see their polling places consolidated in the Tuesday, Nov. 3 election because of a scarcity of the new voting machines.
Arkville voters in District 5 will still vote at the firehall. Also voting in Arkville this year will be residents of District 3, who previously voted at the Halcottsville Fire Department. This will be the first time that Halcottsville voters won’t cast ballots in their own community.
The Delaware County Board of Elections has also approved shifting the polling place within the Arkville Firehall from the truck room to the upstairs meeting room. Signage will guide voters to the entry door on the right side of the building.
All other Middletown residents — Districts 2 and 6 from Margaretville (who have been voting at the Margaretville firehall), District 4 from Dunraven, Huckleberry Brook and Millbrook, and District 7 residents from New Kingston — will be voting at the Purcell Center on Academy Street, Margaretville. Voters from Districts 4 and 7 had their polling place relocated to the Purcell Center several years ago.
Fleischmanns voters in District 1 will continue to cast their ballots at the firehall on Main Street.
The consolidation of the voting districts is the result of a directive from the Delaware County Board of Elections. New voting machines will be utilized this year and a shortage of these machines has made it necessary to have fewer polling locations.
Election inspectors will be on hand to offer assistance with operating the new machines. The new machines were first used in Delaware County during the September primaries.
The voting machines incorporate the use of hand ballots with a special pen for marking the ballots. Voters will receive a paper ballot that they take to a table (surrounded by privacy screens) to fill out. Voting instructions (how many people to vote for, etc.) are listed at the top of the ballot.
Voters mark their choices with a special pen and then place the ballot into a scanner on the voting machine. Voters can review their choices once their ballot is scanned. If they wish to make a change, the ballot is voided and a new ballot must be obtained from an election inspector.