After the Cambridge Board of Civil Authority authorized the selectboard to unilaterally handle the security and logistics for the Nov. 8 general election, the board officially changed the polling location from the elementary school to the fire department.
The board of civil authority, which is composed of the selectboard, town clerk and justices of the peace, approved the measure 10-1.
The Vermont State Police also has an outpost in the Cambridge Fire Department, making this polling location a marriage of convenience for the town as it attempts to enlist the state police in providing a security presence for the election.
The selectboard began to explore enhanced security measures for the general election following an hours-long alleged harassment of House candidate Lucy Boyden, Sen. Richard Westman and members of the public on primary voting day by Cambridge resident Brian Albarelli, as well as a conflict between House candidate Rebecca Pitre and an unidentified man at the Cambridge transfer station.
At the Sept. 6 selectboard meeting, Cambridge School Board chair Mark Stebbins and others requested the town also move the polling location from its longtime location at the elementary school, citing fear for student and staff safety, and a desire to minimize disruption to the school day.
Town administrator Jonathan DeLaBruere said at the selectboard meeting on Tuesday that state police agreed to put about 14 of the 60 monthly hours they contractually provide the town of Cambridge toward support for Election Day. The Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department has agreed to coordinate with the state police to provide back up.
The town is still hammering out the exact details, but board members expressed a desire to place an officer inside the polling location or station one in a nearby cruiser at bare minimum.
On the other side of the county when the primary was disrupted, it took state police an hour to arrive at the elementary school. They found Albarelli did nothing criminal.