Members of the Monroe County election board are considering a second alternative to traditional voting precincts for this year’s city primaries. Election Board President Jan Ellis opened the floor at Tuesday’s meeting for discussion about precinct consolidation—an option that would reduce the total number of precincts open on Election Day, but would, unlike vote centers, still require voters to cast their ballots at one specific pre-assigned location.
It’s an option Monroe County Democratic party chair Rick Dietz said would not serve as a satisfactory alternative to vote centers.
“The value of the vote center proposal is that anybody can vote at any center wherever it’s located in the community and that provides a greater degree of accessibility than what you see in the precinct system where essentially you vote where you sleep, you don’t vote where you are during the day.”
Ellis agreed saying she’s worried the consolidated precincts might cause even more confusion.
“The biggest question that we’ve gotten at every election is ‘where do I vote?’ People won’t be able to go to their old places to vote and will have to go to a new place.”
County Clerk Linda Robbins said the idea arose when delivery of the new machines needed in order for individuals to vote at any open precinct was delayed. But that doesn’t mean vote centers are off the table. Robbins said the 30-day public comment period following last week’s meeting is still open. A second meeting to discuss vote centers is set for March 24.