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Primary Voting Won't Unseat Primary Graduation

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 21:14

East Hampton School District officials have reached a temporary compromise with the Suffolk County Board of Elections that will allow the school's fifth-grade moving-up ceremony to proceed as planned on Tuesday.

Tuesday is Primary Day for elections for East Hampton Town justice and town trustees. The vote would normally have been held in the all-purpose room at John M. Marshall Elementary School, but school officials, who have been vocal opponents in past years of using schools as polling sites, protested even more strongly this year when they realized the fifth-grade graduation was scheduled at 9 a.m. in the same place on the same day.

Board of Elections officials met with representatives of the district recently and agreed to find an alternate polling site at the elementary school for "this year only," said J.P. Foster, the school board president. "They worked with us in a way that at least makes it palatable for us for now," he said on Tuesday following a meeting of the board.

The exact location of the polls at John Marshall had yet to be determined as of press time, but Richard Burns, the school superintendent, said it would be "an open space that is also close to a door." He added that the district will continue to press the Board of Elections to consolidate all its polling sites to the district's office building on Long Lane.

"This is a secure location," Mr. Burns said of the facility.

Representatives of the County Board of Elections could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Also on Tuesday, the school board accepted donations of several telescopes, lenses, and related astronomy equipment. School officials said they have yet to discuss how the students and staff will use the equipment, but they thanked the donors, who are Philip Weyhe and the estate of Jonathan Hren.