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Bard College loses bid for new on-campus polling location

Oct 15, 2020 5:30 am
William J. Kemble is reporting for for the Daily Freeman Bard College has lost its battle to provide students a polling site on campus. The decision issued by a state Supreme Court October 13, rejected the concerns filed by college President Leon Botstein, the Andrew Goodman Foundation, the Election@Bard student group, student Sadia Saba, and Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Cannan. Judge Maria Rosa said efforts to have Dutchess County Board of Elections move a polling location to a place other than Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist on River Road, should have undergone an administrative review before going to court. The Red Hook church is 1.6 miles south of the college in Annandale-on-Hudson. The petitioners commenced the Article 78 proceeding on September 4 challenging the polling place designation, but they did not file a declaratory judgment action or articulate a theory "... proving grounds upon which the court could direct the Board of Elections to take any specific action based on the COVID19 pandemic,” Rosa wrote. Efforts to move the polling site were blocked by Republican elections Commission Erik Haight, who issued a statement chiding those who filed the case. “The rule of law has prevailed and I’m gratified the Court reached the obvious decision," Haight said. "I think this is a good teaching lesson for the students that if you don’t get what you want, you shouldn’t just run off to court and waste everyone’s time and taxpayer’s money.” Bard College Vice President for Academic Affairs Jonathan Becker contends the court decision was based on process rather than merit. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.