Elkhart holds public meetings about vote centers

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. -- In Elkhart County, the election board is considering creating voting centers instead of traditional polling places. If the change is approved, it will be the first county in northern Indiana to make the switch.

Elkhart County estimates it would save $27,000 per election if it adopts vote centers.

In addition to saving money, the process would be easier for voters. They could vote anywhere in the county.

"It gives them the freedom to choose where they want to cast their ballot," said Elkhart County Clerk Wendy Hudson.

Currently, voters must vote at their designated polling location in their precinct.

If the change is made, they would have safeguards so voters couldn't vote twice.

"The voters are still going to cast their ballot in the same manner, the change is there will be an electronic poll book which will prevent any voter from being able to cast their ballot at more than one location," said Hudson.

The election board is in the process of making a plan with hopes of reaching a decision soon.

First they must hold public meetings to hear concerns from voters, like the cost of new machines.

"Our tabulation equipment is all going to have to be replaced soon, so do we replace it for a 117 precincts or do we replace it for 24 vote centers?" said Hudson.

It's a move several counties in the state are experimenting with, but Elkhart County could be the first in northern Indiana to adopt the changes

"Reduces the number of people the parties have to recruit to be poll workers, so it benefits on many different levels," said Hudson.

Click here for more information on vote centers in Elkhart County

There are several meetings about the vote centers.

January 13, 2014 at 6 p.m. - County Office Building, 117 N. 2nd St., room 104, Goshen

January 14, 2014 at 6 p.m. - West Park Pavilion, 500 N. Nappanee St., Nappanee

January 21, 2014 at 6 p.m. - Middlebury Town Hall, 418 N. Main St., Middlebury

January 27, 2014 at 6 p.m. - Elkhart City Council Chambers, 229 S. 2nd St., Elkhart

January 28, 2014 at 6 p.m. - Public Services Building, 4230 Elkhart Rd., Goshen

Share this article: