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Absentee ballots OK’d for Saranac Lake Sept. election

SARANAC LAKE — On Thursday, Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabineau called a special Zoom meeting of the Village Board of Trustees to authorize absentee balloting for the upcoming election. Rescheduled from March due to the pandemic, the Sept. 15 election will fill two empty seats on the Board of Trustees.

Because of ongoing safety concerns requiring physical distancing and the avoidance of crowds, the Board asked for and sanctioned the spending of up to $5,900 from the existing General Contingency Fund of the general budget to cover the costs. The money will cover the mass mailing of absentee ballot applications to registered voters.

Rich Shapiro and Tom Catillaz, both Democrats, and Fred Balzac, representing the Green Party, are the three candidates for those two four-year seats. On Monday, Zelda Newman was appointed by the mayor to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Trustee Patrick Murphy.

Present for the vote were Mayor Rabineau, Trustees Shapiro, Catillaz, Newman and Melinda Little. The vote was unanimous.

Village staff will be encouraging residents through mailings and social media to use this option as a safe alternative to voting in person. Voting registration is open until Sept. 4. In-person voting on Sept. 15 will also be available.

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