Howard removes Bay View, adds Meadowbrook Church as polling place
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – Bay View Middle School is out and Meadowbrook Church is in as a village polling location.
The Howard village board unanimously approved an ordinance amendment Monday, Oct. 14, to modify the polling locations.
Beginning Jan. 1, the polling place for voters in Wards 9, 10, 13, 14 and 18 is switching from the middle school to Green Bay Community Church, 600 Cardinal Lane.
Chris Haltom, director of administrative services, said parents expressed concerns about safety and security of the middle school and asked to move that polling location.
“The same parents contacted the school district, and the school district asked the village to look into alternative sites for polling locations,” Haltom said.
The ordinance amendment also moves the polling place for voters in Wards 7 and 8 from Green Bay Community Church to Meadowbrook Church at 701 Hillcrest Dr.
With the polling place for voters in Wards 1,2, 11 and 12 remaining at Green Bay Community Church, Haltom said it might be “a little much” to have voters in five trustee districts cast ballots there, so the location to vote for Wards 7 and 8 will be moving.
“Community Church has a huge parking lot,” he said. “They have a huge sanctuary area. They also have another area in the back of the building we used for one election that’s very large. So we don’t think there’s going to be a problem with the number of wards we’ll have (there).”
Haltom said Meadowbrook Church has a gym in back of the church and a long hallway to the gym that would work for a polling place with two wards.
“It’s a little different for a (polling) layout, but it’s big enough to hold two wards,” he said.
Four different polling locations will continue to be used for elections throughout the village with voters in Wards 3, 4, 5 and 6 still casting ballots at village hall at 2456 Glendale Ave.
Those in Wards 15, 16 and 17 will still vote at Fire Station No. 2 at 4165 Shawano Ave.
Haltom said close to 100 election workers would be available to staff all the polling places on Election Day.
“It’s typically the presidential elections and the governor’s race where (there will be) your highest turnouts,” Haltom said. “Sometimes the April election when they do the U.S. presidential primary can be a good turnout – it’s not as much as the president’s race or the governor’s race. We shouldn’t have a problem with staffing.”
Village Administrator Paul Evert said the more people are encouraged to vote early, the less congestion there would be at the polls on Election Day.
Providing correct ballots
With the change in polling places taking effect next year, Trustee Cathy Hughes asked what will be done to ensure voters at Green Bay Community Church are provided the correct ballots for the wards in which they live.
“With this many wards at one place, this almost seems like this is going to be an issue,” she said. “Or is this going to be taken care of before the doors open?”
Hughes alluded to what happened at Green Bay Community Church last November when, after the polls opened, some voters in Wards 2, 8 and 11, located in the 4th Assembly District, were given ballots for Wards 1 and 12, located in the 89th Assembly District, and vice versa, before the error was detected.
Haltom said the village plans initially to move some of the chief inspectors and staff that were at the middle school polling place over to Green Bay Community Church.
Evert said “our very top performers (working the polls) will be at community church.”