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Shuttered Ditmars Polling Site to Reopen for Primary Election

By Jeanmarie Evelly | August 25, 2017 4:39pm | Updated on August 28, 2017 8:54am
 Voters will once again be able to cast their ballots at P.S. 2 in Astoria.
Voters will once again be able to cast their ballots at P.S. 2 in Astoria.
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DNAinfo/Meredith Hoffman

DITMARS — A polling site that shuttered in 2012 — forcing confused voters to another location about a mile away — will reopen in time for next month's primary election after its building is upgraded to comply with ADA-accessibility rules, Board of Election officials said Friday. 

Voters will once again be able to cast their ballots at P.S. 2, on 21st Avenue between 75th and 76th streets, for the Sept. 12 primary. The school had served as a polling location for decades, but was disqualified five years ago because it lacked the proper wheelchair-accessible ramp

The School Construction Authority is now finally installing the ramp, and officials say the school will be ready to function as a polling site again during the during the primary.

Councilman Costa Constantinides allocated $500,000 to upgrade the school building to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act standards, saying its closure has since created hardships for local voters.

After P.S. 2 was disqualified, many of the residents assigned there were sent to vote at P.S. 84 about a mile away. As a result, many P.S. 84 voters were, in turn, shuffled to a different polling site at P.S. 85 further west.

The change caused confusion during the 2012 presidential election, with dozens of people turning up at P.S. 2 to cast their ballots on Election Day, unaware that the location was no longer active.

"It was ludicrous. We must've ferried 100 people," said Frances Luhmann-McDonald, a Community Board 1 member who volunteered with friends that day to drive people who'd shown up at school to their correct polling site. 

"You had residents who had their poll site moving for the first time in decades," Constantinides added. "Now we're pushing everyone back where they need to be." 

You can look up your assigned polling site on the BOE's website here.