Sun Prairie cutting down voter wait time by doubling up on polling places
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — After last November’s election cycle, Sun Prairie’s City Clerk Elena Hilby knew something needed to be done about the long wait time voters were experiencing in Sun Prairie.
Some voters were waiting anywhere between 45 minutes and two hours to cast their ballots.
They were overwhelmed with “Devout voters,” Hilby said. “People who were struggling with small children that were not happy about waiting there for such a long time. I can only imagine how many people may have walked away and just said, ‘I don’t have time to do this.'”
This year, Sun Prairie is doubling up on polling places, increasing from four locations to eight.
Each location catered to about 4,400 people, but with the increase in polling locations, Hilby said each will now see about 2,000 people.
That number could vary based on the increase in voters they saw within the last couple weeks, especially on National Voter Registration Day.
“Every time somebody registers there we get an email saying, ‘Hey, you’ve got a new person.’ So we were noticing on that day, every couple of minutes there was a new registrant.”
Hilby said the federal goal is that no voter should have to wait more than 30 minutes to exercise their right to vote, but she’s hoping Sun Prairie’s wait time will be well under that.
Adding the additional locations is costing the city between $16,000 and $25,000 per polling place to stock them with voting equipment.
The locations are listed below:
District 1: The Colonial Club, 301 Blankenheim Ln.; The Faith Place Church, 211 E Linnerud Dr.
District 2: Heartland Church, 800 Wilburn Rd.; United Methodist Church, 702 North St.
District 2: Sun Prairie Public Library, 1350 Linnerud Dr.; Living Water Church, 3075 Prospect Dr.
District 4: Westside Community Service Building, 2598 W. Main St.; Focus Church, 411 N. Thompson Rd.
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