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Archive for Tuesday, August 6, 1996

LONG VOTER LINES PROMPTS POLLING PLACE CHANGES

August 6, 1996

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Several new precincts and polling places will be open for today's election.

Before you head out the door to vote today, you might check again to make sure you're going to the right polling place.

Because of long lines and population growth, five precincts in western and southwestern Lawrence have been split since the 1994 elections, said Jo Dalquest, Douglas County's deputy county clerk.

"By splitting them up, we have alleviated part of the problems," Dalquest said.

Two years ago, voters in the 5th Precinct of the 1st Ward (5-1) found themselves waiting in long lines to vote at Deerfield School, Dalquest said.

So the northwest part of that precinct was formed into 6-1. Sterling House, 3220 Peterson, was made the precinct polling place.

Hillcrest School, which serves voters in 3-2, also experienced long lines in recent elections. So, the south half of that precinct was split to create a new precinct, 15-2, whose polling place is St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center, 1631 Crescent.

The western half of the former 11-2, which voted at Holcom Recreation Center, has been split off to form 16-2. Voters in the newly formed precinct will vote at the Free Methodist Church, 3001 Lawrence Ave.

Another heavily populated polling place had been the Mustard Seed Church, which serves voters from 12-2. The south and east part of the precinct was formed into 17-2, which will vote at Presbyterian Manor, 1429 Kasold.

Those who voted at Brandon Woods, which is 13-2's polling place, also experienced long voting lines. The eastern half of that precinct was split off and became 18-2. It votes at Drury Place, 1510 St. Andrews.

Besides splitting some precincts, annexations that have occurred have led the county to create seven new precincts, Dalquest said. Because some of the new precincts have too few voters, they vote by mail to protect their privacy.

Dalquest said some people will not vote today in their regularly designated polling place.

Voters in 4-2, who vote at Allen Fieldhouse during the general election, will vote at Schwegler School during the primary.

Voters in 6-1, who usually vote at Woodlawn School in North Lawrence, will vote today at Union Pacific Depot, North Second and Locust streets, because of remodeling going on at the school, Dalquest said.

Voters in the affected precincts have been notified by mail of the changes, she said.

Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh has predicted a 47 percent turnout statewide for today's primary election. Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes has not made a county prediction.

In the past Jaimes had used absentee ballots to make her predictions. However, absentee ballots were replaced by the new advance voting law. Dalquest said that just under 1,100 people took advantage of the 20-day advance voting period from July 17 to noon Monday.

Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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