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Group Protests Proposed Changes To Vigo Co. Voting Centers

Forward Together Terre Haute says potential changes to voting centers could discourage people from casting a ballot.

A group of Vigo County residents says the election board is trying to suppress voters by reducing the number of voting centers and early voting opportunities. But the county clerk says the board’s intentions are the opposite.

A group called Forward Together Terre Haute stood outside the Vigo County courthouse for the second day in a row Tuesday, holding signs that say “stop voter suppression” and “more voting centers.” TJ Hellmann was among them and says the election board is considering changes to voting centers and early voting that would harder for some in the community to cast a ballot.

“We’re out here as a community to say we don’t support their current plan,” Hellmann says. “We want them to take a different direction and make it easier for people to vote.”

Vigo County Clerk Brad Newman says the board is considering several changes because some of the current voting center sites aren’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He says while some voting centers may be closed, other, larger centers could be opened in their places.

“We won’t have the State Police post as a polling location anymore,” he says. “And, obviously Baesler’s Market here in Terre Haute, that was very popular we won’t have that this year.”

Newman says there are issues with both of those sites that don’t make them effective polling places. He says all of the changes are just proposals at this point and the board still has to vote on them.

The election board will consider the issues during a meeting Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in the clerk’s office.

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