Update at 1:13 p.m.:
Power was restored at about 10:15 a.m. and public works crews hooked up an emergency generator at Venice Restaurant, one of two polling places in use for today's special referendum. Voting continued uninterrupted but in the darkness for about one hour.
WESTERLY — Voting in today's special referendum is continuing despite a power outage in Misquamicut that is affecting the Venice Restaurant, one of two traditional polling places in service for the referendum.
Polling place workers reported the outage at about 9:15 a.m. this morning. The workers are using flash lights to assist voters. Some of the flash lights have been attached to voting booths and town staff plan to bring battery operated lights to the polling place, said Krista Tracy, the town's registrar and clerk to the Board of Canvassers.
The voting machines, which have a chargeable battery back up, are continuing to operate as normal and are expected to remain operational for a few hours, Tracy said.
The ballot asks voters to approve or deny borrowing up to $71.4 million for a school building project. The state has agreed to reimburse at least 35% of the cost of the project and up to 50% of the cost. The ballot also includes three proposed changes to the Town Charter.
Tracy reported a steady flow of voters at Venice Restaurant and the Faith Bible Chapel on Ashaway Road, the other polling place open today. As of 10 a.m. 556 votes had been cast at the two polling places and 969 emergency ballots had been cast by mail or in person at Town Hall, which is also open today for voting until 4 p.m.
The Venice Restaurant and Faith Bible Chapel polling places opened at 7 a.m. and are scheduled to be open until 8 p.m.
Precinct 3601, which normally votes at Bradford Citizens Club, 3603, which normally votes at State Street Elementary School, 3604, which normally votes at the Venice Restaurant, and 3605, which normally votes at Westerly Middle School Cafeteria, will all vote at Venice Restaurant.
Precinct 3602, which normally votes at Westerly High School, 3606, which normally votes at the Springbrook Elementary School Gym, and 3607, which normally votes at Faith Bible Chapel, 115 Ashaway Road, will vote at Faith Bible Chapel.