State details process for Ilion-Mohawk merger vote

HERKIMER COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - State Education Commissioner John King Jr. recently established the official plans for the vote on whether to merge the Ilion and Mohawk school districts.

King released a notice of special meeting that sets the merger vote from noon to 8 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2013, with voting taking place at each school district.

Additionally, King appointed a 22-member Board of Canvass made up of residents from the school districts. A complete list of the board members can be found online at

Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES District Superintendent Mark Vivacqua has been designated as in charge of the operation of the election.

Polling will be conducted using voting machines, and absentee ballots are available at the central office of each school district.

The Board of Canvass will act as a board of elections at the central voting site at the Ilion Central School District. For the special election district site at Mohawk, the Mohawk Board of Education will perform the duties of a board of elections.

These boards of elections will inspect the voting machines and poll books before the voting begins and supervise the conduct of the voting – including acceptance of challenges at each voting site.

After the polls are closed at each site, the chairperson of the board of elections at Mohawk will deliver the sealed voting machine results and sealed poll books to the Board of Canvass at the central voting site in Ilion.

The Board of Canvass will then canvass the vote on Proposition No. 1, which is the vote on whether the two school districts should merge. The results for each district will be canvassed separately, including absentee ballots.

If Proposition No. 1 is approved by both districts, the results from Propositions No. 2 and 3 from each district will be intermingled and counted in aggregate, including absentee ballots.

Propositions No. 2 and 3 would only go into effect if Proposition No. 1 is approved. Proposition No. 2 asks voters to decide whether the new school district would have five, seven or nine Board of Education members.

Proposition No. 3 asks voters to decide whether the Board of Education members’ terms would be for three, four or five years.

After the results for the propositions are determined, the Board of Canvass will certify the results to the state education commissioner.

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