Rokita, Phillips provide update on Tippecanoe, Wayne Counties as Vote Center Pilots
Contact: Allison Fore
(Lafayette, IN) – Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita and Tippecanoe County Clerk Linda Phillips updated voters on the progress of Tippecanoe County’s municipal election today. Tippecanoe County was one of two vote centers Indiana piloted, the other being Wayne County.
“Tippecanoe and Wayne Counties represent the future of Indiana elections,” Rokita said. “The vote center concept means voters no longer have to worry 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.”
For voters, Vote Centers means flexibility in where they cast ballots during the 2007 Primary and General Elections and for taxpayers, Vote Centers mean reducing the cost of running the county’s elections. Rokita championed the idea of vote centers before the Indiana General Assembly.
By utilizing technology, Tippecanoe and Wayne County are able to decrease the overall number of polling places and offer the option of voting at the location most convenient for the individual. Centers are located 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 are 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 needed to run an election, and eliminating the need for costly printing and storage of poll books.
The selection of Tippecanoe and Wayne Counties followed an extensive application process in which counties were asked to address questions of technical capability and impact to voters. The law required selection of vote center pilot counties by October 1, 2006, and while Tippecanoe was not the only county to express interest in the pilot program, it was the first to submit a completed application deemed suitable by the Secretary of State’s office.
“The vote centers concept will certainly be an important step toward improving elections for all Hoosiers, and I look forward to bringing the idea of expansion to the General Assembly early next year,” Rokita said.