in an email to remind residents of the West End Neighbors Civic Association
meeting Wednesday at West End Community Center, WENCA President John Bendo said
that the petition was started to reopen the voting site at West School after it
was relocated to Lindell School, more than a mile away.
Although West School, which holds three of Long Beach’s 24 voting districts, reopened to students Sept. 9 after it had been closed since Hurricane Sandy, the following day a primary election was held at Lindell School. Six candidates, three Republicans and three Democrats, are vying for three seats on the Long Beach City Council in the Nov. 5 primary election.
In his Oct. 21 email, Bendo explained that William Biamonte, Nassau’s Democratic elections commissioner, disapproves of returning the polling site to West School for next month’s election, while the other commissioner, Louis Savinetti, a Republican, has agreed to its return. Biamonte said that it’s “too late” and could create “confusion” to return the site to West School, according to Newsday.
The West End
neighbors’ petition states: “We, the undersigned, are urging the
current Long Beach City Council and Candidates to urge the Nassau County Board
of Elections Commissioner William Biamonte to reopen the West School
Voting/Polling Place for the 2013 General Election so all registered West End
residents can vote in their traditional location.”
Bendo indicated that he believes the move to Lindell School could be permanent: “West Enders should keep in mind that making us vote at Lindell School for this election could be setting a precedent that may mean that we will never get voting back at West School,” he wrote in his email.
In the West End’s three districts, Republicans have a greater percentage of registered voters compared to the rest of the Democrat-heavy city, according to Newsday, which noted that, according to Nassau County election records, 43 percent of voters is Democrat and 27 percent is Republican in the three districts.
Bendo’s email also noted that WENCA will sponsor a candidates forum for City Council at the People’s Church, 111 Delaware Ave., at 10 a.m. Nov. 2. Last week, the six candidates participated in a candidates forum at the Long Beach Library, which the library sponsored with the Long Beach League of Women Voters. The candidates fielded constituents’ questions that ranged from what they think are the top two issues the city faces, to their proposed financial plans for the coming two years, to the future of food trucks.
In his email, Bendo also noted that Howard Appel, better known as “Halftime Howie” who hosts the all-things Long Beach radio show “Broadcasting on the Beach” on WGBB 1240 AM, will focus his Oct. 27 show on gathering input from residents about the candidates forum.
“You will be able to call in and tell us what issues you think they should be asked …,” he wrote.