Neenah city council approves new polling sites to replace those on school property
Some Neenah voters will be heading to a new polling place starting in August.
On Wednesday night the city council approved four new sites, replacing schools after the Neenah Joint School District said in April it would no longer allow voting on school property.
Neenah City Clerk Patty Sturn said, "With all the shootings around the country that have been happening it just appears that a lot of the schools would rather not have the elections there."
Sturn says the shift from schools will affect four polling locations serving almost 9,000 voters.
In response the city council approved a plan moving those sites to a church and three city park indoor shelters.
Under that plan, the new polling places would be:
- 1st Aldermanic District, wards 1-4, County Supervisory District 5:
Whiting Boathouse, 98 5th St.
(replacing Roosevelt School)
- 1st Aldermanic District, wards 5-8, County Supervisory Districts 6 & 8:
Washington Park shelter, 631 W. Winneconne Ave.
(replacing Wilson School)
- 2nd Aldermanic District, wards 9-12, County Supervisory Districts 6, 7 & 8:
Peace Lutheran Church fellowship hall, 1228 S. Park Ave.
(replacing Shattuck Middle School)
- 3rd Aldermanic District, wards 17-20 & 26, County Supervisory Districts 6 & 9:
Memorial Park shelter-south, 1175 Apple Blossom Dr. (off Tullar Rd.)
(replacing Hoover School)
"Schools had plenty of space where we could get them in and we could get them in an environmentally friendly atmosphere where they didn't have to sit out and wait. So I think that still may be a problem for some of the locations we have," said Mayor Dean Kaufert.
The school gave the city through the end of the year to make the change, but the city decided to make the transition right away.
Postcards will be mailed out to voters on July 9 and signs will be posted at all the schools during the August primary and November general election.
Still, the city clerk says some confusion is expected.
"To answer your question, yes, it may turn some people away who are not going to have time to go to the alternate place to vote and may just decide not to vote, but there's not much we can do about it at this point," said Sturn.
Other cities like Appleton and Green Bay also stopped using schools as polling places amid similar concerns.