Selden, New York- Today, Suffolk County Legislator Nick Caracappa (4th District) held a press conference at Stagecoach Road Elementary School to announce that the site will no longer be used as a polling place for elections. Accompanied by Suffolk County Board of Elections Commissioner Nick LaLota, Middle Country Central School District Superintendent Dr. Roberta Gerold and Stagecoach Road Elementary School Principal Shaun Rothberg, Caracappa stated this accomplishment was the result of a ‘collaborative community effort.’
Many parents and administrators in the Middle Country Central School District have advocated for this change for more than a decade. The efforts to keep school security tight becomes a challenge while an election is in progress, as adults are roaming the halls and using the restroom facilities. In light of tragic school events of the past, along with the COVID-19 social distancing protocols that need to be in place, removing the schools as polling sites is the best way to protect the students. “Today’s announcement of eliminating this elementary school as a polling site is one that I hope is only the beginning of a trend here in Middle Country School District and throughout the entire Fourth Legislative District and beyond,” stated Legislator Caracappa.
Suffolk County Board of Elections Commissioner Nick LaLota stated, “I want to thank Legislator Caracappa on this important initiative in the Fourth Legislative District. We are pleased to be removing Stagecoach as a polling site. When Legislator Caracappa assumed office in January, he made this removal a priority and I am glad we have worked together to accomplish this goal! The Board of Elections will continue to work with Legislator Caracappa to address the possibility of additional schools in the near future.”
Principal Shaun Rothberg remarked, “This was a collaborative effort over many years of hard work to bring awareness to the safety concerns of using schools as voting sites. I hope this is the beginning of removing voting in all schools to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff are safe while in their school buildings. Thank you to Legislator Caracappa and Commissioner LaLota.”
Dr. Roberta Gerold commented, “We thank Legislator Caracappa and all members of our Legislative Committee for their unrelenting efforts to have voting removed from Stagecoach Elementary School. Going forward, I am sure that Legislator Caracappa’s commitment to the safety and security of Middle Country’s students and staff will result in more of our elementary schools obtaining the same status.”
Caracappa also stated that “with true community effort and government agencies working together, we can achieve positive outcomes.” His final remark was, “Keeping the community safe is a high priority; keeping our children safe must remain the NUMBER ONE priority.
Photo captions: (top) Legislator Caracappa at the podium. (bottom) from left to right: Suffolk County Legislator Nick Caracappa, Board of Elections Commissioner Nick LaLota, Middle Country Central School District Superintendent
Dr. Roberta Gerold and Stagecoach Road Elementary School Principal Shaun Rothberg.