It looks like Omahans will have a new voting headquarters just in time for the 2020 presidential election.
The Douglas County Election Commissioner’s Office appears headed to a former Gordmans store in the Bel Air Plaza, northwest of 120th Street and West Center Road. Election Commissioner Brian Kruse on Tuesday gave the Douglas County Board a proposal to lease the space for his office.
Kruse and his predecessors have long sought a replacement for their aged, cramped and leaky office near 114th and Davenport Streets.
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He told the board that the increasing number of voters in Douglas County and the rising trend of early voters would only worsen the crowding at the current office, which forces voters to wait outside in long lines, squeezes employees into cramped quarters, requires workers to empty warehouse space to create room for handling ballots on Election Day and has scant parking.
The proposed new location would be more secure, convenient and safer for voters, Kruse told the board. He noted that it’s at an intersection of major through streets. He said its accessible by bus, with a bus stop nearby at 122nd and West Center.
The new site would have 13,000 square feet of office space and 6,000 square feet of storage space, said Jerry Leahy, the county’s public properties manager. The lease would cost about $135,000 a year, he said. That includes remodeling costs.
The office would move between now and the November 2020 presidential election.
The County Board is likely to vote Jan. 15 on the proposed lease.