Smyrna Town Council passed a motion at their April 1 meeting to extend voting hours in this year's Tuesday, April 30 town council election.
Originally the town scheduled for voting to take place at Citizens' Hose Company from 1 to 8 p.m.; however, council decided to expand the hours of voting to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The change in voting hours goes along with the change in the actual election date. For years, Smyrna held their election on the last Monday in April. An amendment in the town charter now requires the election be on the last Tuesday of April.
Councilman Anthony DeFeo said at the council meeting that the move was made to give the Kent County Board of Elections a work day to set up polling. He then suggested starting voting at 7 a.m. like other general elections.
Councilwoman Regina Brown then suggested the location of the election be moved from the fire department to town hall; she asked for an amendment to the original motion to change the time.
"Town staff is involved anyway so why not have it at town hall," Brown said.
DeFeo said it may be a problem with parking. Town Manager Dave Hugg said the logistics of having polling at town hall doesn't make sense either. He said it could be a problem if there's a large turnout with only three voting machines
"I'm not sure how easily this space lends itself to an election process," Hugg said.
Councilwoman Valerie White said a change in location is something council can look into in the future but it's too short notice for this year's election.
Reorganizational meeting scheduled
Council also voted to set the date of the town's Mayor and Council Organizational meeting. Town Lawyer Barrett Edwards said typically this meeting is held prior to the first council meeting in May, but with the date of the election pushed back to the last Tuesday the organizational meeting can't take place at the Monday, May 6 council meeting.
"Pursuant to municipal election laws, people can't take office until seven days after certification of the election," Edwards said. "Since the election is April 30, the meeting would be six days after and it needs to be seven days."
Council voted to reschedule the Monday, May 6 council meeting to Wednesday, May 8 so the organizational meeting follows municipal election laws. The organizational meeting will be at 7 p.m., followed by the regular council meeting.
Meet the Candidate night scheduled
Council set the date for this year's "Meet the Candidate" night. The event gives residents a chance to meet the candidates for the 2013 Smyrna Town Council election.
The event will be Monday, April 22 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at town hall.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.