News3 News Now Investigators


With fewer polling places, county election head says they're well prepared for Nov. 3

Volunteers stepped up to the call, election commissioner says
Posted at 6:56 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 19:56:21-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Douglas County voters who aren't voting early will line up at 203 polling locations across the county on election day.

That's slightly fewer polling locations than there were in 2016 and 2018, when there were 217 and 220.

This year, more polling locations are handling more than one precinct of voters, according to a 3 News Now Investigator analysis.

30 locations will handle more than one precinct, compared to just 11 and 17 in 2016 and 2018. Unlike those general elections, some locations this year will host voters from three precincts.

But locations handling more than one precinct will be proportionately equipped, Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said.

The single building with the most registered voters assigned to it is Common Ground Community Center in Elkhorn. The gym there is the polling location for more than 5,400 registered voters from three precincts, according to Douglas County Election Commission data and our analysis. Many of them will vote early.

The Elkhorn South High School Commons and the Bennington High School Auxiliary Gym will also host three precincts worth of voters. More than 5,200 registered voters' polling location is at Elkhorn South. More than 4,300 voters' polling location is at Bennington High.

St. Michael Lutheran Church will host three precincts, too, but in two different spots.

Early on, polling locations at long-term care facilities were removed from consideration, Kruse said. He said those facilities were simply too risky to consider during a pandemic. The facilities didn't have to opt out.

Drafting Poll Workers

Nebraska is the only state in the country that allows for poll workers to be drafted, similar to jury duty, Kruse said.

Despite the pandemic, Kruse said fewer poll workers were drafted this year than in previous years. He estimated about 40% of poll workers were drafted this year, compared to half in prior elections.