Bayside and Whitestone voting sites to be removed

By Madina Toure

The Scheuer House of Bayside and Le Havre in Whitestone will no longer be voting sites for upcoming and future general elections.

The Board of Elections said inspections found that the angle of the cross slopes along the entranceways of both sites were not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, according to City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside).

Individuals who typically vote at the Scheuer House at 208-11 26th Ave. will now have to vote at Bayside HS at 32-24 Corporal Kennedy St. and those who vote at Le Havre at 168-68 9th Ave. will have to travel to PS 193 at 152-20 11th Ave. in Whitestone.

The city would normally work with these sites to make the necessary upgrades to meet ADA compliance, but due to the cost the city decided to remove the sites.

Vallone said he opposes the closures because the sites are critical to the large senior populations in Bayside and Whitestone. He contacted the BOE to request that a variance be granted so that the sites can operate while they become ADA compliant.

“It’s very upsetting to see our seniors continue to be nickeled and dimed by the city instead of receiving the resources they deserve,” Vallone said in a statement. “Forcing seniors to commute further away to vote is not the answer and I look forward to working with all parties involved to reach a favorable outcome.”

Margaret Costello, manager of Le Havre Owners Corporation, agreed.

“The Board of Election’s decision to remove Le Havre as a polling site is going to place an undue burden on many of our community’s seniors,” Costello said in a statement.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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