The Monroe County Election Board voted Thursday evening against vote centers for the 2012 election.
County Clerk Linda Robbins and Democratic board member Jan Ellis voted for the centers. But Republican board member Judith Smith-Ille voted against the centers. And since the vote had to be unanimous, the proposal failed.
Robbins says the rejection was fiscally irresponsible because the county will now have to purchase equipment for 15 new precincts that are being opened to accommodate the county’s population increase.
“If we do temporary measures or purchase equipment this year for precincts and then later go to vote centers, then we will have wasted at least $500,000 in equipment we can’t use,” she says. “And we would have to purchase another $500,000 of equipment we need for the vote centers.”
Among other concerns, opponents of the voting centers said they did not want to make such a large change during a presidential election year. Friday morning, the county commissioners postponed a vote on purchasing voting equipment until Monday.