Selectmen Approve Request To Move Linden Ponds Voting Precinct To Hingham Middle School
By Kristen Arute, Hingham Current Staff, Updated May 28, 2020
On Tuesday evening, the Board of Selectmen voted to approve a request from Eileen McCracken, the Town Clerk to move the Linden Ponds polling station to the Hingham Middle School at 1103 Main Street. "Linden Ponds is a subprecinct (of Precinct 5) known as 5A," said Selectmen Chair Karen Johnson. "It's a voting precinct right at Linden Ponds." Precinct 5A was originally part of Precinct 5 but was established for Linden Ponds to facilitate voting.
Eileen provided an explanation for the request. "Right now Linden Ponds has been on shutdown," she said," and, from what I understand, they will probably stay that way until around the beginning of July." Because of this, she felt it was important to bring the Linden Ponds precinct over to the Middle School with Precincts 5 and 6. "We will have it as a separate precinct there," Eileen continued. "We do have room in the gym for them to be there. I think it will work out well." She noted that a polling station needs to be kept open for people who don't wish to fill out an absentee ballot.
A seven-day notification period of any change to a voting location is required. "We're well within providing that kind of notice to people in terms of where they will be voting," said Karen. The move would be a temporary one and would only apply to this year's Town Election.
The change was prompted by a request made in a letter that was sent to the Board from James Centola, the Executive Director of Linden Ponds, and it was seconded by resident Dight Crain who serves as chair of the Linden Ponds Resident Advisory Council (RAC), an influential committee that acts as a liaison between community members and staff. He reached out to the Selectmen and the Town Clerk's Office directly to express his support of the move and was also involved in the crafting of the letter. "The main goal of this request was to prevent residents and poll workers from getting infected with COVID-19," said Dight. "The average voter turnout for a town election for the last three years has been 300."
Both the administration and staff have put in tremendous effort to keep residents safe and healthy, and the numbers reflect that. "Linden Ponds remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting the health and well-being of residents and staff members.," said Linden Ponds spokesperson Dani Baldassare. "As of today, Linden Ponds has one active resident case of the nearly 1,400 who live here."
Notices about absentee voting with absentee ballot applications attached have already been sent to residents of Linden Ponds. Anyone interested in receiving an application can find a printable version here. Hingham Town Election will be held on Saturday, June 27th from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.