About 30,000 voters in Sarpy County received notification that their voting place will change ahead of the May 15th primary date. Election Commissioner Michelle Andahl started connecting with community members and voters soon after entering office late last year to identify ways the office could better serve citizens. One issue kept surfacing and that was moving polling places out of schools.
Andahl says, “School districts in Sarpy County have always been accommodating and gracious about hosting polling sites inside schools. However, it also posed challenges for schools and law enforcement as they worked to balance security protocols and providing public access without impediment on Election Day.” She adds that schools are much busier today, especially during drop-off and pick-up times and that congestion was also a factor in their decision.
Andahl says this was a huge challenge for election officials to identify polling locations that met all requirements. Through partnerships with a number of organizations they have now been able to move voting locations to churches, hospitals, community centers and retail developments.
Andahl also wants to thank the voters of Sarpy County by saying change isn’t always easy and the new locations may not be as convenient. However, moving the polling places out of schools was an important task and an important step for the community.