SUNBURY - Twenty polling stations, most of them in Shamokin, Coal Township and Mount Carmel, will be closed after the next general election in November, changing the total number of stations in the county from 94 to 74.

Alisha Herb, director of the Northumberland County Board of Elections, said Wednesday the move will save the county $15,624 per election, or $31,248 per year in poll workers' salaries, rent, paperwork and supplies.

"It's time to consolidate. It will save a ton of money. It should have been done a long time ago," she said.

In March, the county planned to consolidate polling stations, but Herb said political candidates and other citizens complained about the decision, saying it would confuse voters so close to the election.

Northumberland County has been operating for years with 94 precincts for 53,364 registered voters. In comparison, Clearfield County has been operating with 71 precincts for 50,903 registered voters; Crawford County with 67 precincts for 53,611 registered voters; Indiana County with 69 precincts for 53,114 registered voters; and Somerset County with 68 precincts for 51,200 registered voters.

The move was unanimously approved Tuesday afternoon by the Northumberland County Board of Elections, which consists of Commissioners Vinny Clausi, Stephen Bridy and Rick Shoch.

While this decision will not go into effect until 2014, Herb said there will be signs at each of the polling stations affected explaining to voters where they will go to vote in the next election.

Herb said the primary reason for the consolidations is the low number of voters in each of the precincts. She said residents will not have to travel much further to vote in their new precincts.

Nine precincts will be consolidated into four in Mount Carmel, while four precincts will be consolidated into two in Mount Carmel Township. In Shamokin, 10 precincts will be consolidated into five. In Coal Township and Sunbury, six precincts each will be consolidated into three each. In Zerbe Township and Lower Mahanoy Township, two voting precincts will be reduced to one.

The following is a list of the consolidations:

- Mount Carmel Borough 1st Ward, 1st Precinct (321 voters) and 1st Ward, 2nd Precinct (5268 voters) into Mount Carmel Borough 1st Ward (589 voters), St. Michael's Orthodox Church.

- Mount Carmel Borough 2nd Ward, 1st Precinct (429) and 2nd Ward, 2nd Precinct (363) into Mount Carmel Borough 2nd Ward (792), Mount Carmel Area Rescue Squad.

- Mount Carmel Borough 3rd Ward, 1st Precinct (512), 3rd Ward, 2nd Precinct (403) and 3rd Ward, 3rd Precinct (313), into Mount Carmel Borough 3rd Ward (1,228), Mount Carmel High Rise.

- Mount Carmel Borough 4th Ward, 1st Precinct (470) and 4th Ward, 2nd Precinct (528) into Mount Carmel Borough 4th Ward (998), Mount Carmel Borough Hall (former Mount Carmel Elementary School).

- Mount Carmel Township Diamond (405) and Exchange districts (352) into Mount Carmel Township Diamond/Exchange District (757), Atlas Legion.

- Mount Carmel Township Natalie (116) and Strong districts (219) into Mount Carmel Township Natalie/Strong District (335), Strong Fire Company.

- Shamokin City 1st Ward (239) and 7th Ward (416) into Shamokin City First Ward (655), Liberty Hose Fire Company.

- Shamokin City 2nd Ward, 1st Precinct (249) and 2nd Ward, 2nd Precinct (222) into Shamokin City Second Ward (471 voters), St. Francis Home Association.

- Shamokin City 4th Ward, 1st Precinct (353) and 4th Ward, 2nd Precinct (388) into Shamokin City 4th Ward (741), Raspberry Hill Community Room.

- Shamokin City 5th Ward, 1st Precinct (296) and 5th Ward, 2nd Precinct (367) into Shamokin City 5th Ward (663), Mother Cabrini Church Hall.

- Shamokin City Eighth Ward (253) and Ninth Ward (188) into Shamokin City Eighth Ward (441), United Methodist Church.

- Coal Township Ward 2 (315) and Coal Township Ward 5 (444) into Coal Township Ward 2 (759), Coal Township Municipal Building.

- Coal Township Ward 3 (312) and Coal Township Ward 6 (488) into Coal Township Ward 3 (800, East End Fire Company.

- Coal Township Ward 7 (709) and Coal Township Ward 8 (331) into Coal Township Ward 7 (1,040), Northumberland County Vo-Tech School.

- Zerbe Township East District (671) and Zerbe Township West District (361) into Zerbe Township District (1,032), American Legion, Trevorton.

- Lower Mahanoy Township East (462) and West (512) into Lower Mahanoy (974), Community Fire Company.

- Sunbury City Ward 1 (525) and Sunbury City Ward 3 (469) into Sunbury City Ward 1 (994), Special Occasions.

- Sunbury City Ward 2 (611) and Sunbury City Ward 4 (312) into Sunbury City Ward 2 (923), Scott Towers.

- Sunbury City Ward 8 (600) and Sunbury City Ward 9 (526) into Sunbury City Wad 8 (1,126), Manor Care Health Services.