Voters Take Election Commissioner To Task For Decisions
South Omaha voters gathered for the first public meeting to fix all the polling place problems
Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps faced a crowd of voters and answered their questions and concerns about polling place problems. Video by kmtv.comvideo
Omaha, NE -- Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps does something he's never done before. He went before a crowd of citizens who question his choice to close so many polling places. Leading-up to the primary and on Election Day, some voters questioned why so many polling places had to close. Wednesday night, he held a public forum in south Omaha where Dave Phipps looked voters in the eye and explained his decisions.
Dave Phipps announced 27-polling places will re-open across Douglas County. After learning 4 polling sites in south Omaha's Ward 4 will re-open, voters took the man behind it all to task.
Frustrated voters went to town on Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps. Dr. Jonathan Benjamin Alvarado said, "It may very well be that you're appointed by the Governor, that you're paid by the county but you work for us. You belong in the neighborhoods talking to the people who live here, these are you're direct constituents."
Anita Plaza asked Dave Phipps, "How much did it cost for you to do all of this?!" while showing the crowded room.
"The price of a persons right to vote is about a hundred and fourteen thousand dollars," asked Cheryl Jones.
Cheryl Jones is a Civil Rights Attorney in Lincoln. She told Dave Phipps an Omaha voter emailed her during the primary, expressing how difficult it was for her to vote. "While you were making these changes did you budget litigation," she asked.
Diane Greenfield lives in south Omaha. The voter said, "I think there's a movement in this country with this election on voter reduction."
Dave Phipps responded, "From the bottom of my heart, it really wasn't it was just an effort to try and save money."
The packed room of voters and politicians heard the election commissioner's new plan to fix all his mistakes. Plans he's worked closely to create with the Omaha Community Coalition. He said, "The election commission has created 30 new precincts and will reopen 27 polling places."
Election Commissioner Phipps said he's worked very hard to find a balance - to save money while re-opening some polling places that are easier for voters to find.
Criticism after criticism, Phipps took the first meeting in stride. He answered every single voters questions line-by-line.
The next community voter meeting will be Monday June 18th at the OIC Building in North Omaha. The meeting is set to begin at 8.
Reported By: Liz Dorland, email@example.com