Election bureau considers change in CF polling location

Should Chadds Ford Township change its polling place from
St. Cornelius to Calvary Chapel? That’s what the Delaware County Election
Bureau will decide as part of a Sept. 14 hearing.

Township Supervisors’ Chairman Deborah Love announced the
request for the change during the September supervisors’ meeting. She said it would likely be approved.

The original request to the township for the change came
from resident Mary Kot, the chairman of the Chadds Ford Republican Party
Executive Committee.

“We’re grateful to St. Cornelius for offering the use of
their facilities, and they were far superior to when we were at the old twp
building, but we had a mutiny on our hands. The workers who were there all day
said they wouldn’t come back,” Kot said in a telephone interview.

The reason for the discontent was a matter of physical
comfort at the St. Cornelius Parish Life Center. Kot said the building was too cold for poll
workers who spent 12 hours at the polls on election days. She said workers
complained two consecutive elections, both spring primary and fall general

Voting used to take place at the old township building on
Station Way Road, but that location was too antiquated and small with
inadequate parking. Voting was moved to St. Cornelius after the 2004
presidential election.

The St. Cornelius location was considered to be temporary
with the thought being that voting would eventually be shifted to the new
township building at Turner’s Mill. That site, however, does not have adequate
parking for the two voting precincts, Love said. She added that the township
could not properly staff two voting locations.

Steve Smickley, the pastor at Calvary Chapel said there was
no question about using the chapel as a polling place when township officials
approached him.

“We said, ‘Absolutely.’ We worked hard to get township
approval [to build the church] and want it to be a blessing to the community,”
Smickley said.

While Love is OK with the Calvary Chapel location on
Brandywine Drive, she said she would have preferred the change to first be made
for a spring primary when there is still some daylight for people who vote
after work.

The Elections Bureau hearing will be 1 p.m. in County
Council Chambers at the County Courthouse in Media.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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