For primary only, voters in precincts12, 18 change polling site

By: Robert Guttersohn | Royal Oak Review | Published July 30, 2014

ROYAL OAK — With Churchill Community Education Center undergoing construction this summer, voters in precincts 12 and 18 will have a temporary location change for the Aug. 5 primary election.

According to the city clerk, voters of those precincts instead will cast their ballots at Oakridge Elementary School, 506 E. 13 Mile Road.

According to state law, a polling site may be changed only within 60 days of an election if the structure is damaged.

The city is citing this clause and the ongoing construction at Churchill for the legal authority to make the change.

The City Commission approved the change at its July 21 meeting.

The vote was 6-0. Commissioner Mike Fournier left the meeting due to illness prior to the vote.

In addition to sending out notices to voters in those precincts, the city will provide signage at Churchill redirecting voters to the Oakridge site.

The construction at Churchill will be completed prior to the Nov. 4 election and the polls will return to Churchill at that time.

Mayor Jim Ellison said the city was aware of the construction, but a connection was not made to it impacting the August election.

“Person A didn’t talk to person B, and we ended up assuming it was going to be there, and the district tells us it is not,” Ellison said.

Johnson said the construction’s impact just fell through the cracks.

“None of us really connected the dots to think it was really going to impact the election,” Johnson said. “But it is.”

Commission members asked that the city send out letters before the November election reminding voters of precincts 12 and 18 that the polling will return to Churchill.

“Switching away in August and switching back in November may very well confuse a lot of people,” Commissioner Kyle DuBuc said.