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Contact: Jim Gavin
(Indianapolis) – Legislation authorizing vote centers as a voting alternative statewide advanced today in the Senate Committee on Local Government and Elections by a vote of 7-3.
Sponsored by Senator Sue Landske (R-Cedar Lake), the bill is a major initiative by Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita.
“Our election process has remained the same for more than 100 years, yet our lifestyles have changed significantly,” Rokita said. “Vote Centers mean voting the way we live today and no longer worrying about finding the right precinct because any center in the county will work. The concept also means savings for taxpayers by significantly reducing the cost of election administration.”
By utilizing technology, counties opting to participate would be able to decrease the overall number of polling places and offer the option of voting at the location most convenient for individuals. Centers would be placed in high-traffic, accessible locations, with preference given to locations along public transit lines, such as libraries and public office buildings. Electronic poll books connected by a secure line to the county election board office would be updated in real-time and enable election officials to ensure each person votes only once. The change translates to taxpayer savings by reducing the number of voting systems needed to run an election, reducing the number of election workers, and eliminating costly printing and storage of poll books.
The legislation must be approved by the full Senate before working its way through the House of Representatives.
Additional information about the Secretary of State’s vote center pilot project can be found at http://www.in.gov/sos/.
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