By KRIS REILLY
After many Lucerne Valley residents complained about the polling location in the June election, the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters is considering changes for November.
The only polling place in June was on Dido Avenue, on the far east end of town, forcing many voters to make a long drive on Election Day. The more centrally located Janice Horst Lucerne Valley Library was used only as a drop-off location for mail-in ballots before the election.
Longtime resident Dan Schuler voiced his displeasure at last month’s Municipal Advisory Council meeting.
In an interview on Monday, Schuler said the recent combat death of U.S. Army Sgt. Brian Walker (who grew up in Lucerne Valley) served as a reminder of the price of freedom. Schuler has two grandsons who are active military members.
“It’s very real that our young people are over there supposedly fighting for our freedoms, and one of the freedoms we hold dear is voting rights,” Schuler said. “When I heard that the only polling place for Lucerne Valley was out there on Dido Road, it really ticked me off. ... It just got to me, and so I started making phone calls.”
One of the people Schuler got in touch with was Jason Jones, Logistics Manager for the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters.
In a phone interview Monday, Jones did not say for certain if another polling place would be added, but he said, “We are looking into evaluating Lucerne Valley and looking into having additional polling places. It’s an ongoing process. It has to be surveyed and has to be evaluated.”
Jones did not give a precise timeline for the decision, but he said it would be finalized before sample ballots and voter guides are sent out about six weeks before the Nov. 6 election.
The Municipal Advisory Council apparently listened to Schuler; the MAC has added a discussion item about polling places for its next meeting. According to the agenda, the board will discuss the “need for two locales minimum.”
The MAC meeting will be held July 24 at 5 p.m. at the Lucerne Valley Community Center. The public is invited.
In addition to the many state and national races in November, local offices up for grabs will include San Bernardino Third District Supervisor (a runoff between Neil Derry and James Ramos) and the Lucerne Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees.
Visit sbcounty.gov/rov for more election information.