New Polling Locations Coming To Allen County By 2014

By Scott Sarvay
By John W. Davis

February 23, 2011 Updated Feb 23, 2011 at 11:24 PM EDT

INDIANA (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - The first bill to hit Governor Mitch Daniels desk was signed into law Tuesday.

The bill will allow counties the option to establish vote centers instead of more costly individualized precincts.

Allen County Election Board members lobbied state lawmakers to pass the law.

They say vote centers will save taxpayer money.

Depending on the election, Allen County opens between 107 to 190 local precincts on election day.

However, with vote centers, Allen County will only need between 35 to 40 vote centers.

Officials said that's a clear savings of your tax dollars because of fewer locations and fewer poll workers.

"Vote centers will allow voters to pick the location of the vote center that's convenient for them," said Allen County Election Board President Zach Klutz.

"It could be the vote center that's closest to where they work, closest to where they live or closest to where they're doing their errands for the day. So a voter will be able to pick where they wanna vote. They will not be required to vote in one particular spot," Klutz said.

Meanwhile, local precincts are normally small venues like churches, libraries and VFW's.

However, with only 35 to 40 vote centers, those polling locations will need room for many more voters.

Election officials said vote centers will be located strategically across Allen County.

Locations will range from large YMCA gyms to empty retail stores at local strip malls.

"Voters won't certainly see vote centers for upcoming municipal elections in 2011," Klutz revealed.

"There's a small chance we could have this implemented by 2012. I think it's more likely that Allen County voters will see vote centers in 2014," explained Klutz.

Voters will still use the same voting machines they have grown accustomed to using.

However, you will have to sign in at the vote center electronically for tracking purposes.

Officials want to make sure no one is able to travel to another vote center and cast multiple ballots.

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