DANVERS — Where are you planning to vote on May 6?
If you said Danvers High, you would be correct.
Town Manager Wayne Marquis wants to iron out any voter confusion before the annual town election: All eight precincts will be voting in the Vye gym at Danvers High. The move to a single voting place will save about $1,500 per election and make it easier for the town clerk to field voters’ questions.
The town used this same gym for voting in 2008. Two years later, during a wintry special election for U.S. senator, traffic backed up on Cabot Road, raising questions about the wisdom of a single polling place. With Danvers High’s renovation on the horizon back then, selectmen designated four polling places. Now that the high school is finished, the board opted to go back to one location.
There are about 80 parking spaces near the gym, which is toward the back and at the left side of the building. School will be in session, but seniors will be doing community service work elsewhere, so the lot should be mostly empty. Faculty will be parking away from the gym, Marquis said.
Danvers is not the only large town or city where all precincts vote in one place. Andover’s town election is held at their high school, though its fall election is split between two locations. Beverly opted for a single polling place in February when it held a special election for a zoning change on Brimbal Avenue.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo introduced Danvers’ own Mike Chase and his family on the floor of the Massachusetts House of Representatives recently. They were guests of state Rep. Ted Speliotis.
Chase, the high school soccer coach and son of former police Chief Stu Chase, was with a group of friends on Boylston Street when a bomb exploded there during last year’s Boston Marathon. Dan Marshall, who works for the town, was also there. Both rushed to help two children they saw lying on the ground, 8-year-old Martin Richard and his 7-year-old sister, Jane. Chase applied a tourniquet to Jane’s leg and helped carry her to safety with off-duty Lynn firefighter Matt Patterson. She lost a leg in the bombing; her brother Martin was killed.