16-411. Designation of election precincts and polling places; voting centers; electioneering; wait times
A. The board of supervisors of each county, on or before October 1 of each year preceding the year of a general election, by an order, shall establish a convenient number of election precincts in the county and define the boundaries of the precincts as follows:
1. The election precinct boundaries shall be established so as to be included within election districts prescribed by law for elected officers of the state and its political subdivisions, including community college district precincts, except those elected officers provided for in titles 30 and 48.
2. If after October 1 of the year preceding the year of a general election the board of supervisors must further adjust precinct boundaries due to the redistricting of election districts as prescribed by law and to comply with this subsection, the board of supervisors shall adjust these precinct boundaries as soon as is practicable.
B. At least twenty days before a general or primary election, and at least ten days before a special election, the board shall designate one polling place within each precinct where the election shall be held, except that:
1. On a specific finding of the board, included in the order or resolution designating polling places pursuant to this subsection, that no suitable polling place is available within a precinct, a polling place for that precinct may be designated within an adjacent precinct.
2. Adjacent precincts may be combined if boundaries so established are included in election districts prescribed by law for state elected officials and political subdivisions including community college districts but not including elected officials prescribed by titles 30 and 48. The officer in charge of elections may also split a precinct for administrative purposes. The polling places shall be listed in separate sections of the order or resolution.
3. On a specific finding of the board that the number of persons who are listed as early voters pursuant to section 16-544 and who are not expected to have their ballots tabulated at the polling place as prescribed in section 16-579.02 is likely to substantially reduce the number of voters appearing at one or more specific polling places at that election, adjacent precincts may be consolidated by combining polling places and precinct boards for that election. The board of supervisors shall ensure that a reasonable and adequate number of polling places will be designated for that election. Any consolidated polling places shall be listed in separate sections of the order or resolution of the board.
4. On a specific resolution of the board, the board may authorize the use of voting centers in place of or in addition to specifically designated polling places. A voting center shall allow any voter in that county to receive the appropriate ballot for that voter on election day after presenting identification as prescribed in section 16-579 and to lawfully cast the ballot. Voting centers may be established in coordination and consultation with the county recorder, at other county offices or at other locations in the county deemed appropriate.
5. On a specific resolution of the board of supervisors that is limited to a specific election date and that is voted on by a recorded vote, the board may authorize the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections to use emergency voting centers as follows:
(a) The board shall specify in the resolution the location and the hours of operation of the emergency voting centers.
(b) A qualified elector voting at an emergency voting center shall provide identification as prescribed in section 16-579, except that notwithstanding section 16-579, subsection A, paragraph 2, for any voting at an emergency voting center, the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections may allow a qualified elector to update the elector's voter registration information as provided for in the secretary of state's instructions and procedures manual adopted pursuant to section 16-452.
(c) If an emergency voting center established pursuant to this section becomes unavailable and there is not sufficient time for the board of supervisors to convene to approve an alternate location for that emergency voting center, the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections may make changes to the approved emergency voting center location and shall notify the public and the board of supervisors regarding that change as soon as practicable. The alternate emergency voting center shall be as close in proximity to the approved emergency voting center location as possible.
C. If the board fails to designate the place for holding the election, or if it cannot be held at or about the place designated, the justice of the peace in the precinct, two days before the election, by an order, copies of which the justice of the peace shall immediately post in three public places in the precinct, shall designate the place within the precinct for holding the election. If there is no justice of the peace in the precinct, or if the justice of the peace fails to do so, the election board of the precinct shall designate and give notice of the place within the precinct of holding the election. For any election in which there are no candidates for elected office appearing on the ballot, the board may consolidate polling places and precinct boards and may consolidate the tabulation of results for that election if all of the following apply:
1. All affected voters are notified by mail of the change at least thirty-three days before the election.
2. Notice of the change in polling places includes notice of the new voting location, notice of the hours for voting on election day and notice of the telephone number to call for voter assistance.
3. All affected voters receive information on early voting that includes the application used to request an early voting ballot.
D. The board is not required to designate a polling place for special district mail ballot elections held pursuant to article 8.1 of this chapter, but the board may designate one or more sites for voters to deposit marked ballots until 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election.
E. Except as provided in subsection F of this section, a public school shall provide sufficient space for use as a polling place for any city, county or state election when requested by the officer in charge of elections.
F. The principal of the school may deny a request to provide space for use as a polling place for any city, county or state election if, within two weeks after a request has been made, the principal provides a written statement indicating a reason the election cannot be held in the school, including any of the following:
1. Space is not available at the school.
2. The safety or welfare of the children would be jeopardized.
G. The board shall make available to the public as a public record a list of the polling places for all precincts in which the election is to be held.
H. Except in the case of an emergency, any facility that is used as a polling place on election day or that is used as an early voting site during the period of early voting shall allow persons to electioneer and engage in other political activity outside of the seventy-five foot limit prescribed by section 16-515 in public areas and parking lots used by voters. This subsection does not allow the temporary or permanent construction of structures in public areas and parking lots or the blocking or other impairment of access to parking spaces for voters. The county recorder or other officer in charge of elections shall post on its website at least two weeks before election day a list of those polling places in which emergency conditions prevent electioneering and shall specify the reason the emergency designation was granted and the number of attempts that were made to find a polling place before granting an emergency designation. If the polling place is not on the website list of polling places with emergency designations, electioneering and other political activity shall be allowed outside of the seventy-five foot limit. If an emergency arises after the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections' initial website posting, the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections shall update the website as soon as is practicable to include any new polling places, shall highlight the polling place location on the website and shall specify the reason the emergency designation was granted and the number of attempts that were made to find a polling place before granting an emergency designation.
I. For the purposes of this section, a county recorder or other officer in charge of elections shall designate a polling place as an emergency polling place and thus prohibit persons from electioneering and engaging in other political activity outside of the seventy-five foot limit prescribed by section 16-515 but inside the property of the facility that is hosting the polling place if any of the following occurs:
1. An act of God renders a previously set polling place as unusable.
2. A county recorder or other officer in charge of elections has exhausted all options and there are no suitable facilities in a precinct that are willing to be a polling place unless a facility can be given an emergency designation.
J. The secretary of state shall provide through the instructions and procedures manual adopted pursuant to section 16-452 the maximum allowable wait time for any election that is subject to section 16-204 and provide for a method to reduce voter wait time at the polls in the primary and general elections. The method shall consider at least all of the following for primary and general elections in each precinct:
1. The number of ballots voted in the prior primary and general elections.
2. The number of registered voters who voted early in the prior primary and general elections.
3. The number of registered voters and the number of registered voters who cast an early ballot for the current primary or general election.
4. The number of registered voters whose early ballots were tabulated on-site as prescribed in section 16-579.02 in the prior primary and general elections.
5. The number of election board members and clerks and the number of rosters that will reduce voter wait time at the polls.