Voting Worries: Election Board Member Says Budget Cuts Could Threaten 2012 Election

By Jeff Neumeyer

August 19, 2011 Updated Aug 19, 2011 at 5:47 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Will there be enough money to conduct next year's presidential election in Allen County?

The Republican representative on the county election board says maybe not, if county council won't re-think its demand for election budget cuts.

At the very least, Allen County voters will see changes when they go to the polls in 2012 that they don’t figure to like much.

County council is asking most departments for a seven percent cut in 2012, but the amount is 17 percent for the election board, and that doesn't even take into account that next year is a presidential election, a much more costly contest to administrate.

Republican board member Zach Klutz says you can count on longer lines at polling places, because 200 fewer voting machines than he says are needed will be distributed, as way to save money.

Also, 240 fewer poll workers will be hired.

In addition, the early satellite voting option that was planned is gone for this fall's Municipal election and for next year too.

Klutz says, unless more money is turned up somehow, finding enough to pay for next year’s election could be an ugly situation.

Zach Klutz/(R) Allen County Election Bd.: " If they don't accept our appeal and say no, you have to operate on a municipal election budget, we'll do the best we can, but I do not believe we'd be able to conduct a complete election under those budget constraints. I'm for less government, I'm for less spending, but we have to be reasonable and we have to fulfill our statutory duties."

Cancelling early satellite voting is problematic for another reason.

If the experiment into early satellite voting worked out, the plan was to then go to Vote Centers in the 2014 election.

That looks to be in trouble now too.

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