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Queens Chronicle

Volunteer shuttles take voters to polls

PS 2 not a voting spot; volunteers will take neighbors to the new site

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Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 11:31 am, Thu Oct 25, 2012.

Three Astoria residents are making sure people aren’t left at the wrong polling site. Community Board 1 member Francis Luhmann-McDonald and two volunteers will be taking voters from PS 2 to 84, 85 and 122 on Election Day.

For decades PS 2, on 75th Street between 21st Avenue and Ditmars Boulevard, has served as a polling site. Then earlier this year, the Board of Elections disqualified the school as a voting spot because it does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Instead, voters who previously used PS 2 will go to PS 84 on 41st Street near Ditmars Boulevard. During the primaries, although notifications were sent out, there was confusion for people who had always cast their votes at the elementary school.

“The Board of Elections said everyone will be renotified because there was ultimate confusion,” McDonald said.

McDonald, a retired employee for the BOE, will start at 6 a.m. on Nov. 6 at PS 2 and take anyone who wants a ride to PS 84. Two other volunteers will start at PS 85 and PS 122 — two other schools that people were relocated from after years of voting at these locations — and will circle to the schools. The three longtime residents of Astoria will use their own cars. McDonald will have an American flag on her window.

“If they want a ride they get a ride,” McDonald said. “I don’t care who you’re voting for.”

For the future, CB 1 has put making PS 2 handicapped accessible on their budget priority list.

“It has had a severe impact,” Elizabeth Erion, CB 1’s capital, expense and community development chairwoman, said. “Not only are kids being affected, but I can’t vote there.”

The residents at the large apartment complexes near to PS 2, Garden Bay Manor and Barclay Garden Manor, will also need to vote at another polling location, Erion said.

Welcome to the discussion.