Elkhart County using vote centers for Tuesday's primary
ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. -- On Tuesday, Indiana and Michigan residents will head to the polls for the primary election. Board of Election members are very busy preparing ballots and poll locations, especially in Elkhart County where they're using vote centers for the first time.
The vote centers are expected to be more convenient for voters and more cost-efficient for the county.
Ronald and Annie Douglas have lived in Elkhart their entire lives and they have voted in many elections.
Often they would struggle to rush home from work to go to the polls in their precinct on Election Day.
On Tuesday, for the first time in Elkhart County's history, they won't be limited to one polling location.
"It'll allow people to go vote at any location and not just at the precinct in their local neighborhood," said Wayne Kramer, Elkhart County Board of Elections Chair.
There are 25 vote centers in Elkhart County - placed in different areas by the Board of Elections based on convenience and population.
"They're located in the major metropolitan areas as well as our surrounding communities of Nappanee, Bristol and Millersburg and Middlebury," said Kramer.
Kramer says at least two years of research went into the decision to switch to vote centers.
Although county officials are confident there will be no issues for voters on Tuesday, they say they plan to stay flexible.
"If we think in the first go round in the primary election that we need a vote center somewhere else, we have the ability to do that, we could relocate one if we needed to," said Kramer.
Kramer says previously there were more than 80 polling locations throughout the county. The reduction to just 25 will save the county money on equipment and staff.
"That gives the county a tremendous savings in terms of human costs, in terms of the cost of running the election," said Kramer.
Elkhart County vote center locations (source)
Elkhart Locations (10)
Trinity United Methodist Church, 2715 E Jackson St, Elkhart
Omega Center & Abundant Life Ministries, 2130 Middlebury St, Elkhart (on Orange trolley route)
St James AME Church, 122 Dr Martin Luther King Dr, Elkhart (on Green/Red/Orange trolley routes)
River of Life Community Church, 2626 Prairie St, Elkhart (on Green/Orange trolley routes)
Calvary Assembly of God, 1010 E Mishawaka Rd, Elkhart (on Orange trolley route)
Calvary United Methodist Church, 2222 W Indiana Ave, Elkhart (on Green trolley route)
New Hope United Methodist Church, 28765 CR 4, Elkhart
Tolson Center, 1320 Benham Ave, Elkhart (on Red trolley route)
Northside Gym, 300 Lawrence St, Elkhart (on Blue trolley route)
Jimtown High School Gym, 59021 County Road 3, Elkhart, IN 46517
Goshen Locations (7)
Grace Community Church, 20076 XCR 36, Goshen
Faith United Methodist Church, 22045 CR 18, Goshen (on Orange trolley route)
Maple City Chapel, 2015 Lincolnway E, Goshen (on Red trolley route)
Salvation Army, 1013 N Main, Goshen
Trinity Lutheran Church, 202 S Greene Rd, Goshen
Greencroft Senior Center, 1721 Greencroft Blvd, Goshen (on Red trolley route)
Pleasant View Mennonite Church, 58529 CR 23, Goshen
Dunlap Locations (1)
Elkhart County Public Services Bldg, 4230 Elkhart Rd, Goshen (on Red trolley route)
New Paris Locations (1)
New Paris Missionary Church, 67621 SR 15, New Paris
Millersburg Locations (1)
Millersburg Fire Station, 500 Carriage Ln, Millersburg
Middlebury Locations (1)
Middlebury Town Hall, 418 N Main St, Middlebury
Nappanee Locations (1)
First Brethren Church, 1600 N Main St, Nappanee
Wakarusa Locations (1)
Bible Baptist Church, 205 E Waterford St, Wakarusa
Bristol Locations (2)
Bristol United Methodist Church, 201 S Division St, Bristol
First Baptist Church, 53953 CR 17, Bristol