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Confusion, frustration after officials fail to notify Ward 5 voters that their polling place had moved

Confusion, frustration after officials fail to notify Ward 5 voters that their polling place had moved

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Linda Greiner showed up at her usual polling place in southwest Omaha on Tuesday only to discover that it had been moved without notice.

The Douglas County Election Commission failed to notify Greiner and other voters in the 11th precinct of Ward 5 that their polling place had moved from Holling Heights Elementary, on 136th Street near Harrison Street, to Stony Brook Church, at 144th and Y Streets.

“It was just strange,” Greiner said. “I just couldn’t believe we didn’t get notification.”

A number of Douglas County polling places changed for Tuesday’s election because of annexations in 2014 and 2015, said Valerie Stoj, the election commission’s spokesperson. The commission didn’t say how many polling places changed.

The commission normally mails out notifications of polling place changes to registered voters. But Greiner’s precinct slipped through the cracks.

“We deeply regret that,” Stoj said. “In an election with this many moving parts, sometimes the human error factor comes in.”

The commission didn’t discover its mistake until around noon Tuesday, Stoj said. A poll worker with a list of registered voters and a map to the new polling place was sent to the elementary school by 1 p.m. to direct confused voters. She said about 20 voters showed up at the school after the poll worker arrived.

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