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Proposed Precinct & Polling Place Changes

The Douglas County Election Commission has several proposed changes to precincts and polling places throughout the county for the upcoming 2012 Presidential General Election. We are asking for input from citizens regarding these proposed changes. We would like citizens to contact our office by phone, email, letter, or the comment form provided. We will be accepting public input through July 3, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.

Please note the comment period has ended. Please click here to view comments.

Remember, these are only proposed changes. We are relying on citizens and voters from across Douglas County to provide input this proposal. Nothing will be finalized until after the public comment period is concluded.

Once we review the information provided by citizens, we will make any necessary adjustments to our proposed precincts and polling places and submit that information to the Nebraska Secretary of State for approval. We would like to thank everyone from our advisory committee and from the Omaha Community Coalition for their valuable assistance over the last several weeks in helping us to craft these proposed changes. If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact our office.

Contact Information

Douglas County Election Commission
225 North 115th Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68154

Phone: (402) 444 - VOTE (8683)
Fax: (402) 444 - 4181
Email: questions@votedouglascounty.com

Background Information

Every ten years, the United States holds a census, which attempts to give a fairly accurate count of people throughout the country. The government uses this information for many things, including determining which political districts voters live in.

In Nebraska, once the census was completed, the Nebraska Legislature drew its district boundary lines and then gave that information to all 93 Nebraska counties. It is then up to the counties to draw its precinct lines. That occurred during the 2011 Legislative session, and the information was sent to the counties in June of 2011.

Political boundaries are drawn based on the population counts from the census. Precincts, however, are drawn based on an expected number of voters who will vote on election day. A precinct is an area that groups voters together geographically. These voters generally vote in the same political offices and receive the same ballot.

To draw precincts and determine the expected number of voters, the Election Commission used the turnout from the 2008 Presidential General election, where there was a record voter turnout. This allowed for smaller precincts, because a higher turnout election was used to calculate the expected number of voters. For example, if a precinct has 2,000 registered voters, the expected turnout would be 1,460 (number of registered voters times the 2008 General turnout percentage of 73%).

Also in 2011, the Legislature passed a law which allowed for an increase in the number of expected voters each precinct can contain. It raised that number from 1,000 to 1,750 expected voters per precinct. This meant that there could be a lower number of precincts. Having fewer precincts meant fewer polling places, because each precinct can only have one polling place.

For Douglas County, the number of precincts went from 354 down to 185, a 48% drop in the number of precincts. The number of polling places, however, only decreased from 265 to 180, a 32% decrease. This was due to the fact that a number of polling places had two or more precincts voting in the same building. The number of double polling places used now is much smaller.

By reducing the number of precincts, the Election Commission would then reduce the number of poll workers needed. By cutting the number of precincts nearly in half, the savings from poll worker reductions alone would save the county almost $115,000 per election. That is a savings of over 9% of a typical yearly budget. It also meant that the Election Commission did not have to recruit or draft as many poll workers, and would reduce the number of poll workers to train.

Another reason to reduce the number of precincts and polling places is because of the increased use of early voting. In the 2008 Presidential General Election, there were approximately 60,000 people that voted early, either in person or by mail. That number will continue to increase. For this year’s general election, it is expected that early voting could climb to nearly 100,000. The more people who vote early mean that fewer people are voting at their polling place. If fewer people are using their polling place, it makes financial sense to increase the number of registered voters for each precinct and reduce the number of precincts overall.

Once the precincts were drawn, the information was given to the various political subdivisions in Douglas County (school districts, MUD, OPPD, Natural Resource Districts, etc). The subdivisions then had to draw their own boundaries. Once they completed that work, the Election Commission then had to input that information into the Nebraska Voter Registration System, which keeps track of where voters live and what offices they vote for.

Once this work was completed, the Election Commission then had to find which polling places worked best for each precinct. In some instances, there were simply no buildings within the precinct that would work as a polling place, so some voters had to travel outside their precinct to get to their polling place. That will continue in some instances, however, in other cases, the shapes of precincts have been altered, or new precincts were created, so that voters would find their polling places much closer to home. This would allow voters to vote in polling places located within their precincts. The Election Commission has made a thorough study of all the precincts and polling places in Douglas County, and have tried to rearrange things to make voting easier for the greatest number of people as possible.

The task of finding polling places is not easy. First, if a building is privately owned, the site must be willing to allow the Election Commission to use their facility as a polling place. That does not always happen. Next, the building must be accessible to people who are handicapped. Next, the Election Commissioner looks for buildings that have sufficient parking for the expected number of voters on election day, because lack of parking is the biggest complaint the office receives about polling places. Finally, the building must have enough interior space to accommodate voting. There must be room for tables, poll workers, voting booths, and voters.

The Election Commission also evaluates all the polling places after each election. Were there complaints? Are there changes that can made to fix those complaints? Are there other buildings in the area that can be used? For example, elementary schools may seem like an obvious choice for a polling place, but they aren’t always ideal. Teachers and administrators, as well as parents, are often concerned about the increased traffic, especially around small children. Generally, there isn’t a great deal of parking at elementary schools, which makes it hard for voters. Also, there isn’t always a good spot within the school for voting to take place. The Election Commission takes all these things into consideration when selecting polling places. It is the office’s goal to always try to get the best experience for both the voters and for the building’s occupants. The choices aren’t always easy to make.

Strategy for Proposed Changes

The Election Commission generally works within its eight wards. Wards one through seven are the Omaha City Council districts (for example, Ward 1 is Omaha City Council District 1) and ward eight is everything outside the City of Omaha (Ralston, Bennington, Waterloo, Valley, and the rural parts of the county).

The Election Commission’s strategy was to go through each ward and examine each precinct individually. Precincts would be judged by both their size in terms of expected voters and by their geographical size. Those larger precincts would then be combined with other adjacent precincts and then split apart into smaller precincts. For example, three precincts may be combined together and then split into four precincts, creating a new precinct and reducing the size of the three previous precincts. In some instances, the shape of a precinct was changed in order to make the polling place become more centralized within the precinct, thus reducing the travel distance to the polling place for voters.

Using this strategy, the Election Commission has proposed to create 30 new precincts, and open 27 new polling places. Boundaries of 69 precincts were adjusted, making voting more convenient for potential voters. This ultimately will result in a 15% increase of polling places from the 2012 Primary Election to the upcoming general election. The overall reduction of polling places will now be 22%, instead of 32%.

Statistics

Almost all the precincts changed or created occurred within the City of Omaha, and the majority of changes were made in Wards One, Two, Three, and Four.

Precincts and Polling Places Added

Ward Number of
Precincts
2012
Primary
Number of
Proposed
Precincts
2012 General
Proposed
Precincts
Added
Proposed
Percentage
Increase
of Precincts
Proposed
Polling
Places
Added
1 22 25 3 14% 2
2 18 23 5 28% 5
3 17 21 4 24% 4
4 12 17 5 42% 5
5 22 25 3 14% 2
6 24 29 5 21% 5
7 22 26 4 18% 3
8 48 49 1 2% 1

Precincts Adjusted

Ward Number of Proposed
Precinct Adjustments
for 2012 General
1 6
2 13
3 9
4 12
5 8
6 12
7 8
8 1
Total 69

Proposed Changes

Ward 1 - Precincts

Precinct Change Proposed
01-05 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
01-23 New Precinct. Created by splitting 01-05.
01-09 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
01-11 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
01-16 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
01-25 New Precinct. Created from adjustment of 01-09 and parts of 01-11 and 01-16.
01-19 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
01-20 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct..
01-24 New Precinct. Created from parts of 01-19 and 01-20.

Ward 1 - Polling Places

Precinct New Potential Polling Place Previous Polling Place (If Applicable)
01-02 Florence Recreation Center St. Philip Neri Catholic Church
01-05 Omaha Northwest High School Emmanuel Fellowship
01-08 Benson Tower St. Paul United Methodist Church
01-09 St. Bernard’s Church Rectory Benson Tower
01-13 Second Church of Christ, Scientist Miracle Hills Church
01-17 Dundee Presbyterian Church Brownell Talbot Field House
01-20 Westbrook Elementary First Covenant Church
01-23 Emmanuel Fellowship
01-24 W. Clarke Swanson Branch Library
01-25 Central Church of the Nazarene

Ward 2 - Precincts

Precinct Change Proposed
02-02 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-03 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-07 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-23 New Precinct. Created from adjustment of 02-07 and parts of 02-02 and 02-03.
02-04 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-05 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-06 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-08 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-10 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-19 New Precinct. Created from parts of 02-04, 02-05, 02-06, and 02-08.
02-20 New Precinct. Created from parts of 02-08 and 02-10.
02-09 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-15 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-21 New Precinct. Created from parts of 02-09 and 02-15.
02-13 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-16 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-17 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
02-22 New Precinct. Created from parts of 02-13, 02-16, and 02-17.

Ward 2 - Polling Places

Precinct New Potential Polling Place Previous Polling Place (If Applicable)
02-05 Florence Tower Metro Community College - Ft. Omaha
02-08 Butler Gast YMCA Mount Nebo Baptist Church
02-09 Malcolm X Memorial Foundation Evans Tower
02-13 Girls Inc. Development Center Malcolm X Memorial Foundation
02-16 Omaha Public Schools (TAC) Building Urban League of Nebraska
02-17 Walnut Hill Elementary Girls Inc. Development Center
02-19 Metro Community College - Ft. Omaha
02-20 Mount Nebo Baptist Church
02-21 Evans Tower
02-22 Urban League of Nebraska OR Salem Baptist Church
02-23 Florence Elementary School

Ward 3 - Precincts

Precinct Change Proposed
03-02 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
03-07 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
03-18 New Precinct. Created from parts of 03-07 and 03-02.
03-05 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
03-06 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
03-21 New Precinct. Created from parts of 03-05 and 03-06.
03-08 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
03-12 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
03-19 New Precinct. Created from parts of 03-08 and 03-12.
03-09 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
03-10 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
03-14 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
03-20 New Precinct. Created from parts of 03-09 and 03-10 and adjustment of 03-14.

Ward 3 - Polling Places

Precinct New Potential Polling Place Previous Polling Place (If Applicable)
03-03 The Neighborhood Center Dundee Presbyterian Church
03-04 Brownell Talbot Field House St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church
03-06 Jackson Tower OR St Peter's McMahon Hall St. Mary Magdalene Church
03-10 St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church Central Presbyterian Church
03-11 Columbus Park Recreation Center OR Pine Tower Columbus Park Recreation Center
03-13 Our Lady of Lourdes OR Park Tower South Our Lady of Lourdes
03-18 Joslyn Castle
03-19 Field Club Elementary
03-20 Central Presbyterian Church
03-21 Peter Kiewit Conference Center

Ward 4 - Precincts

Precinct Change Proposed
04-01 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-02 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-13 New Precinct. Created from parts of 04-01 and 04-02.
04-03 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-09 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-14 New Precinct. Created from parts of 04-03 and 04-09.
04-04 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-05 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-07 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-16 New Precinct. Created from split of 04-04.
04-06 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-10 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-11 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-15 New Precinct. Created from parts of 04-06, 04-10, and 04-11.
04-08 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-12 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
04-17 New Precinct. Created from parts of 04-08 and 04-12.

Ward 4 - Polling Places

Precinct New Potential Polling Place Previous Polling Place (If Applicable)
04-03 Highland Tower ICC Bowlatorium
04-04 Jefferson Elementary Hanscom Park Pavilion
04-05 Beautiful Savior Grover Site Norris Middle School
04-08 Karen Western Elementary Liberty Christian Center
04-10 Kroc Center Christie Heights Recreation
04-11 Mosher Pilgrim Presbyterian Sts. Peter & Paul School
04-13 Bancroft Elementary
04-14 K J Tower OR Spring Lake Elementary
04-15 Sts. Peter & Paul School
04-16 Hanscom Park Pavilion
04-17 Liberty Christian Center

Ward 5 - Precincts

Precinct Change Proposed
05-01 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
05-02 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
05-03 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
05-23 New Precinct. Created from parts of 05-01, 05-02, and 05-03.
05-05 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
05-08 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
05-09 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
05-24 New Precinct. Created from parts of 05-05, 05-08, and 05-09.
05-06 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
05-10 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
05-25 New Precinct. Created from parts of 05-06 and 05-10.

Ward 5 - Polling Places

Precinct New Potential Polling Place Previous Polling Place (If Applicable)
05-03 Prairie Lane Reformed Church Westside Community Conference Cntr
05-10 Lord of Hosts World Outreach Plaza Buick GMC
05-12 V J & Angela Skutt Catholic High Sch Brookstone Village (Now Serves 08-29 and 08-30)
05-23 Westside Community Conference Cntr
05-24 Mockingbird Recreation Center
05-25 Plaza Buick GMC

Ward 6 - Precincts

Precinct Change Proposed
06-01 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-02 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-25 New Precinct. Created from parts of 06-01 and 06-02.
06-03 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-04 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-26 New Precinct. Created from parts of 06-03 and 06-04.
06-05 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-06 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-07 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-27 New Precinct. Created from parts of 06-05, 06-06, and 06-07.
06-09 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-10 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-12 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-28 New Precinct. Created from parts of 06-09, 06-10, and 06-12.
06-15 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-17 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
06-29 New Precinct. Created from parts of 06-15 and 06-17.

Ward 6 - Polling Places

Precinct New Potential Polling Place Previous Polling Place (If Applicable)
06-04 Beth Israel Synagogue Jewish Community Center
06-06 St. Joan of Arc Pipal Park Community Center
06-09 Beveridge Middle School Beth Israel Synagogue
06-10 Kingsway Church Faith Christian Church
06-16 Hilton Garden Inn Omaha West (Pending) Aldrich Elementary School
06-17 Harvey Oaks Baptist Church Harvey Oaks Elementary
06-25 First Covenant Church
06-26 Jewish Community Center
06-27 Pipal Park Community Center
06-28 Faith Christian Church
06-29 Harvey Oaks Elementary

Ward 7 - Precincts

Precinct Change Proposed
07-01 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
07-06 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
07-07 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
07-08 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
07-23 New Precinct. Created from parts of 07-07 and 07-08.
07-24 New Precinct. Created from parts of 07-01, 07-06, and 07-07.
07-04 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
07-12 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
07-26 New Precinct. Created from parts of 07-04 and 07-12.
07-15 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
07-16 Adjusted. Combined the precinct with others and then created a new precinct.
07-25 New precinct. Created from parts of 07-15 and 07-16.

Ward 7 - Polling Places

Precinct New Potential Polling Place Previous Polling Place (If Applicable)
07-04 Standing Bear Lake Apts Clubhouse Fullerton Magnet Center
07-07 Unity Church of Omaha Maplewood United Methodist Church
07-08 Holy Cross Lutheran Unity Church of Omaha
07-11 Maplewood Estates Clubhouse Rolling Hills Ranch Retirement
07-12 Rolling Hills Ranch Retirement 20 Grand Movie Theater
07-16 St. Michael Lutheran Church Maplewood Estates Clubhouse
07-22 Aldrich Elementary Gregg Young Chevrolet
07-23 Maplewood United Methodist Church Unity Church of Omaha
07-24 Northwest United Church
07-25 Boy Scouts Durham Center (Pending) OR Eagle Run Apts Clubhouse (Pending)
07-26 Fullerton Magnet Center

Ward 8 - Precincts

Precinct Change Proposed
08-18 Adjusted. Removed portion to create new precinct.
08-49 New Precinct. Created from split of 08-18.

Ward 8 - Polling Places

Precinct New Potential Polling Place Previous Polling Place (If Applicable)
08-05 Wildewood Elementary Ralston High School
08-06 Ralston High School Wildewood Elementary
08-17 Saddlebrook Elementary Stonebridge Church
08-19 Stonebridge Church Standing Bear Elementary
08-24 Heritage Pointe (Pending) Gregg Young Chevrolet
08-29 Brookestone Village Superior Honda of Omaha
08-30 Brookestone Village Superior Honda of Omaha
08-49 20 Grand Movie Theater

Potential Polling Place Choices

The Election Commission is seeking public input on all precincts and polling places, however, the following are some polling places that have been identified as potential choices for these precincts. The Election Commission is asking voters to contact them with regard to which of these specific polling places may be best suited for voting.

Precinct Potential Polling Place 1 Potential Polling Place 2
02-22 Urban League of Nebraska Salem Baptist Chuch
03-06 St. Peter's McMahon Hall Jackson Tower
03-11 Pine Tower Columbus Park Recreation Center
03-13 Park Tower South Our Lady of Lourdes Church
04-14 K J Tower Spring Lake Elementary

Timeline

The Election Commission is now taking public input from citizens and voters regarding the proposed changes to precincts and polling places. The Commission will take public input through July 3, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. Citizens can call the Election Commission office at (402) 444-VOTE (8683), email the office at questions@votedouglascounty.com, fax the office at (402) 444-4181, or write to the office at Douglas County Election Commission, 225 North 115 Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68154.

The proposed changes will be published on the Election Commission website (www.votedouglascounty.com), sent to media throughout the county, and put on display at all the Omaha Public Libraries. Comments at the libraries can be written on the supplied comment forms and given to the library staff who will forward it to the Election office.

Once the public input phase is completed, the Election Commission will evaluate and implement suggested changes from the public and submit a final plan to the Nebraska Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will review the plan and either make other recommendations or give final approval. Once this occurs, the Election Commission will begin implementing the changes in the Nebraska Voter Registration System, which tracks all voters’ addresses and precinct information. This process should be completed by the end of July. The Election Commission will then proof the information to ensure voters are listed in their correct precincts. Finally, in early September, the Election Commission will mail a new polling place information card to all registered voters in Douglas County letting them know their correct precinct and polling place.

The Election Commission strongly encourages voters to read their polling place information card prior to election day in order to avoid any confusion the voter may have prior to voting.

Proposed Changes Document

You can download this document in a PDF format by clicking here

Maps

The following are maps showing the proposed changes the Election Commission has made. They are viewable as PDF documents.

 
Douglas County Election Commission  •  225 North 115th Street, Omaha 68154  •  Phone (402) 444 - VOTE (8683)  •  Fax (402) 444 - 4181
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