Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps still has a lot of work to do to satisfy north Omaha leaders. He plans to solicit feedback about voting in the primary and draw new precinct maps before the November general election. Phipps said that he heard a normal amount of voter complaints compared with past elections and that people often are confused when polling places change. Black leaders in north Omaha had a different reaction. “This was a disaster,” City Councilman Ben Gray said of Tuesday’s primary election. Gray and others on Thursday called for Phipps’ countywide consolidation of polling places to be rolled back in northeast Omaha. They said some voters decided not to vote because of the confusion about polling places.
Phipps announced in March the closing of nearly half the polling places in the county, which he said would save about $115,000 in most elections. The plan provoked protests from several people, who said it would prevent the poor and elderly from voting. Gov. Dave Heineman, who appointed Phipps in 2005, said last month that some polling places would reopen before the general election. Phipps said he hopes to have a new precinct map ready by July.
The group of north Omaha leaders said they plan to keep working for easier access to voting, citing the 1960s-era struggle for civil and voting rights. “We’re expecting change, and we’re demanding change,” said the Rev. Cedric Perkins of Pilgrim Baptist Church.
Full Article: Precinct changes called ‘disaster’ – Omaha.com.