West U Council Supports One Polling Location for City Elections
The West U City Council has approved reducing the number of polling places for city elections from four to one, pending approval from the Department of Justice.
City staff recommended that council consider reducing the city’s four polling locations down to one in an effort to reduce costs.
Staff recommended that city hall be the designated polling location and estimated that the maximum wait time on Election Day will be five minutes. City hall is in a central location in West U, has adequate parking, space for equipment and will allow for early voting to be set up at city hall and remain in place for Election Day.
The changes in polling locations are only for the standard city May elections.
Reducing the polling locations is also estimated to save the city more than $2,700.
In 2011, about 1,874 residents out of 10,379 registered voters cast a ballot in the city election.
City Attorney Alan Petrov told the city council at their Nov. 12 meeting that the voting precincts would not change, just the location where residents vote.
Council needed to vote on reducing the polling locations by Dec. 10 to allow time for a submission and answer from the Department of Justice before the deadline to order the May election.
Staff is also requesting an exemption from the Department of Justice from having to publish election notices in Vietnamese and Chinese. City Secretary Thelma Lenz told the council in November that she has never received a request by anyone of Asian background to provide assistance in interpreting election information or a request for an application in Vietnamese or Chinese.
If the city receives the exemption for publishing election notices and reduces their polling locations down to one, Lenz said it’s estimated to save the city about $5,000.