The Douglas County Election Commission wants to add 30 precincts and make changes to 69 others before the November election.
Election Commissioner Dave Phipps made the announcement Wednesday, following public and advisory coalition meetings on the closure of polling places. The number of precincts was reduced by almost half prior to the May 15th primary election. State law, the 2010 Census, and redistricting meant changes to precincts would be needed in all of Nebraska’s 93 counties.
Phipps says adding 30 precincts and changing 69 others means more polling places will be open in November. The plan anticipates 27 new polling places.
The reduction in polling places sparked outrage from some community groups, who believed Phipps’ office made the changes to disenfranchise certain voters. Secretary of State John Gale says that’s not the case. "There was nothing illegal that occurred by the changing of precinct lines and the changing of polling sites, this happens on a very regular basis in every state. Election precincts and election polling sites are not a static thing, they’re a dynamic thing."
Public comment will be taken on the proposal through July 3rd by phone, mail, email, and in person at the Election Commission office. All changes made to the precincts and polling sites must be approved by Gale’s office.
Information on the plan, maps of the changes, and a public comment form are available at http://www.votedouglascounty.com/proposed_reprecincting/index.aspx.