Saranac Lake proposes one election district

SARANAC LAKE – When village voters head to the polls in March, they may no longer have to worry about remembering which election district they live in.

The village Board of Trustees is set to consider a resolution tonight that would replace the community’s five election districts with one district that would cover the whole village.

Put on the agenda by Mayor Clyde Rabideau, the resolution says that under state Election Law, the village board can, by resolution, determine the boundaries and number of election districts for a village election. The resolution says village Clerk Kareen Tyler and Attorney Charles Noth have looked into effects of creating one election district to cover the village “and found there would be a reduction in cost and an increase in efficiency.”

“Everybody votes at the town hall, and to divide it up into districts is cumbersome for us,” Rabideau told the Enterprise this morning. “We feel it would be just better if everybody voted in one district. It would save a lot of time, money and effort on behalf of our clerk, mainly.”

How much money would be saved? Rabideau said the village wouldn’t need as many election inspectors.

“For every district you have two Republicans and two Democrats, generally, sitting at a table checking everybody in,” he said. “You multiply that times five or six – and they don’t get paid a lot, it’s more of a volunteer effort. But if you just have one district, then we’d always have plenty of poll watchers and poll workers, and it’s not like we’re such a huge population that we have to divide it all up.”

The village set aside $2,750 this year to pay its election inspectors and another $500 for election supplies, according to the adopted 2013-14 village budget.

Rabideau said he didn’t think the change would lead to any delays at the polls. The village would have the same number of voting machines and would have two tables where voters can check in, he said.

The proposal, if it’s approved tonight, would take effect for the March 18, 2014, village election when the seats of Rabideau and trustees Tom Catillaz and Allie Pelletieri will be on the ballot.

The change would not apply to the Nov. 5 election, when voting takes place in election districts organized by town.

Tonight’s village board meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the village offices on the second floor of the Harrietstown Town Hall. The agenda is posted at

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or