Referendum will decide voting sites in Greendale

Published on: 7/16/2014

Greendale — Local voters can expect to see the following referendum question on the next general election ballot:

"Should the polling places for the Village of Greendale be located in buildings other than in schools owned by the Greendale School District?"

The Greendale board of trustees unanimously approved the referendum question Tuesday, July 15, after months of discussion centered on school safety during election days.

All three grade schools and the high school are used as polling places currently.

Supporters argued that the presence of voters milling around school hallways not only posed a risk to the children but disrupted school work as well.

Shortly after a rare joint meeting with the board of trustees on May 6, the district sent village officials a letter requesting the polling places be moved to alternate locations prior to the Nov. 4 general election.

To gain public input, the board of trustees on July 1 directed staff to pursue a referendum.

Finding alternative locations are possible, but will pose some new challenges, Village Manager Todd Michaels said at the July 15 meeting.

"The reality is we can move the polling places, but there is going to be some inconveniences in doing that," said Michaels, who helped draft the referendum question.

The school district will allow polling places in the schools for the general election, Michaels assured the trustees.

"I think the referendum question is pretty straight forward, so there's no bias on either direction," Village President John Hermes said. "I think it reads pretty clearly to the voters of what this question is really asking and what the intent really is without demonstrating bias."