Members of the Monroe County Election Board have taken the first step toward creating vote centers for May’s primary elections.
The first bill signed into law by Governor Daniels this legislative session allows every county the option of using centralized polling places instead of more traditional precincts accepting most votes on Election Day. County Clerk Linda Robbins said the public now has 30 days to voice its opinions before the board takes a final vote.
One thing Robbins said she’d like to hear from the public is a list of suggested locations for the centers. Robbins says proposed sites should have ample parking, proximity to internet access, and meet the county’s standards for square footage and accessibility. Some of the currently proposed vote center locations include Assembly Hall, The Curry Building and the county fairgrounds, but Lee Jones, who filled in for Election Board President Jan Ellis as the board’s Democratic member, said she’d like to see vote centers for 2011 elections within the city limits only.
“I really think that we want to avoid the further confusion of people who believe that they should be able to vote in city elections even though they actually live in the county,” Jones said.
Robbins said the equipment the county will need in order to operate the centers is coming to her office early next week. She said the new machines will let voters vote based on their home addresses at any location, as well as help officials to count ballots more quickly.