With straw vote passed, State Department of Education takes over for next round of merger vote

By HILARY LANE

HERKIMER COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - After the three-school merger proposal passed in Herkimer, Mohawk, and Ilion in Wednesday night's straw vote, the big questions on everyone's minds now is, "what's next?"

The Commissioner of the New York State Department of Education has been notified that the vote was positive and the results have been certified by the state.

On Thursday morning, each of the three districts sent out letters to nine randomly selected people asking them to be a part of the committee of canvas for the binding vote on October 18.The group from each district will be responsible for counting absentee ballots for the final vote and supervising the overall process.

While Wednesday's straw vote was run by each district's Board of Educations, the binding vote will be administered by the state, meaning there will be very strict protocols that must be followed.

"Each district should receive a packet with very specific instructions," said Eugene Beirne, Mohawk Interim Superintendent.
"What our ballots will look like, the set-up , we know there has to be three tables. They will provide the poll book, etc."

The three districts will be sending out notices to all residents encouraging them to come out and vote on October 18. However by law, school administrators are not required to hold any community meetings before the vote.

"We understand that it is an election year for a presidential election so there is voter fatigue that is going to set in," said Cosimo Tangorra, Superintendent of Ilion School District."We asked them to vote last night, they are going to vote again today in the primary and we are going to ask them to come out again in Oct. knowing they have to come out and vote again in november for a president."

The final referendum will be held on October 18.

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