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Court Rules Bard College Will Serve As Polling Site In 2021

Pat Bradley

The Dutchess County Supreme Court has ruled that voting locations will remain at Bard College’s Campus Center and St. John the Evangelist Church this year.

Just before the November 2020 election and after a long legal battle, the court agreed to allow Bard College to serve as a polling site. Bard’s Vice President for Academic Affairs wrote the county’s two elections commissioners this spring, saying it appeared the Board of Elections was on a course to attempt to retroactively designate St. John’s, a mile-and-a-half down the road from Bard, as the sole polling location for District 5 in Red Hook for 2021.

In a statement Friday, the school called the ruling a win for students and all district voters.

“We’re gratified by this reaffirmation of the original decision establishing an accessible voting site at Bard,” said Erin Canaan, Vice President for Civic Engagement who was one of the plaintiffs in the case. “This is a win not just for students, but for all voters in the district, including those with disabilities. We look forward to welcoming all District 5 voters to Bard this fall and for years to come.”

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org