About 40 percent of the 38 people interviewed in an unscientific exit poll conducted by the News-Review today, Tuesday, said they voted in favor of a $78.3 million plan for infrastructure upgrades at Riverhead schools.
About 26 percent of those interviewed said they voted against the measure, called Proposition 1 on the ballot, and 34 percent declined to say how they voted or did not answer because they were at the wrong polling place.
The interviews were conducted at Riley Avenue Elementary School and at Riverhead High School.
Of the 28 people interviewed outside Riley Avenue Elementary School in Calverton, 12 people said they voted in favor of both propositions, one woman said she voted in favor of Proposition 1 but not Proposition 2 and eight people said they voted against both propositions.
Seven people declined to say how they voted.
“I was debating it, but it’s really a necessity,” said Helen Zurawinsky who voted in favor of Proposition 1, but not Proposition 2. She called Proposition 2, which calls for the construction of a $6.9 million gym at the high school, a luxury that the people of Riverhead could not afford.
Maryann DiPalermo said she voted against both propositions because of the inevitability of rising school taxes due to increased pension and benefit costs.
“There’s been no increase in Social Security. The cost of living has gone up,” she said. “It’s hard and this is a lot of money.”
“And I don’t think they should have changed our regular polling places,” she added.
Under the new voting system, residents cast their ballots at the building where children in their household would attend elementary school with the exception of those in the Roanoke Avenue district. Those residents vote at the high school.
The new voting districts did prove troublesome for at least of handful of people.
At the high school, where school district votes have traditionally taken place, three of the first four people interviewed were at the wrong polling station Tuesday afternoon.
One man was supposed to vote at Phillips Avenue and another was supposed to vote at Aquebogue Elementary.
The third person, Barbara Hellering of Riverhead, had planned to vote in favor of the bond, but said she would not be voting after learning she would have to travel to Riley Avenue Elementary School.
“I’ve been going here [to vote] for years,” she said of the high school. “I don’t even know where Riley school is.”
Of the 10 people interviewed at the high school, two said they voted in favor of Proposition 1 but not Proposition 2, and two people said they voted no on both propositions. Three people declined to share how they cast their ballot and three were at the wrong polling location.
Polls close at 9 p.m. Check back here later tonight for live results.