School safety is a topic of nationwide concern and also here in Oak Creek. The City has traditionally utilized City owned properties that are supported by tax payers for polling locations. I have worked closely with the school district Superintendent, Dr. Tim Culver, about school building security during Election Day voting. Although the school district has been very supportive of elections and the election process, it is imperative to address the residents’ concerns. Residents and teachers have contacted me to share concerns with voting in the schools on Election Day. Although every effort is made to isolate the voting to one area within a school, there is no way to completely eliminate the chance of someone entering the other areas of the building. On Election Day the schools are already impacted with an increase in traffic, loss of a large space in the building that may be used for Physical Education or a cafeteria. Parking becomes more congested and often causes delays to the bus schedules.
I have been asked why we do not vote in the new Civic Center as this is a public building. Early absentee voting is becoming increasingly popular. With the larger elections the City may see 29%, or nearly 6000 early voters come to City Hall over the two weeks prior to Election Day. These ballots are then processed on Election Day at City Hall. This process requires many poll workers and a very large space in the building. City Hall is also an emergency alternate location for the other district polling locations should it be needed.
Since becoming City Clerk in 2012, I have relocated four polling locations out of schools to ensure the safety of our children. I am most pleased with this accomplishment and I hope the residents will view these changes positively. I applaud our Community partners that have offered space for this very important Civic duty. There are limited facilities in the City that can host Election Day voting, and I am grateful for the support of these organizations.
District 3 voters that currently vote at Oak Creek East Middle School will now vote across the street at American Legion Post 434, Lower Level, 9327 S. Shepard Ave.
District 2 voters that currently vote at Oak Creek West Middle School will now vote down the street at Oak Creek Assembly of God, 7311 S. 13th Street.
These changes will be effective for all 2018 elections and beyond.
Catherine A. Roeske, City Clerk
2018 Election Dates
|Spring Primary Election||February 20, 2018|
|Spring Election||April 3, 2018|
|Partisan Primary||August 14, 2018|
|Fall General Election||November 6, 2018|
Below is a link to a Journal Sentinel article about the changes.