Vote Centers could change things
Metro Creative Contection
With Voting Centers becoming popular in several counties in Indiana, the concept is being looked at for Ripley County. This is a more convenient option to where you can cast your vote with this system.
Now, you must go to the precinct in which you are registered only. With the new system, you would have several choices throughout the county and could cast your ballot at any one of them.
“Ripley County voters would have the opportunity to cast their ballot at any vote center location throughout the county,” noted Liz Baumgartner, Ripley County Clerk. She said in addition to making it easier for voters on Election Day, the vote center concept also calls for increased voting opportunities at certain vote centers for two Saturdays prior to Election Day.
Of course, once your ballot has been cast, it is electronically entered into the system, eliminating the possibility of a duplicate ballot. You will still need identification to vote and be registered.
Your help is needed. A survey is available and voters are urged to get one and fill it out. This will tell the county leaders how people feel about the new concept.
Baumgartner said themost common questions the Election Room deals with on Election Day are, “Where do I vote?” and “Why can’t I vote at the location near where I work or where I drop my kids off?” With the new system in place, people would have choices. They could vote at any one of the Centers strategically placed throughout the county. Intended places are Holton, Olean, Osgood, Versailles, Milan, Elrod, Sunman and Batesville.
This isn’t a decision that Baumgartner and her team are taking lightly. They have spent time looking at over 60 counties of Indiana’s 92, who already have this and how it has impacted their voting numbers. The end goal is to make getting out to vote more convenient. Across the board this has made the process more streamlined and given relief to county budgets.
Just like any employer who is always looking for good help, it’s getting harder to find people who want to work at the polling places on Election Day. It’s a long day, with little pay. Having the Voting Centers would cut down on the number of workers needed.
Baumgartner is looking forward to hearing from you. She told the Osgood Journal, a decision will be made on going to the new system after they receive the comments from the surveys. “We just want to make it better for the voters,” she concluded.
Many leaders in the county have agreed with the Vote Center concept. Election Board member Ed Gindling, of Sunman, was in on the planning committee and told the Osgood Journal, “I encourage all voters to respond to this survey, Democrats and Republicans [alike].”
Hard copies of this survey are available at town halls and the election room, according to Baumgartner. The Election Room is in the County Annex Building, off the square in Versailles, on the second floor. She also encouraged those wanting to request a survey to call her office at 812-689-4783 or go online ripleycounty.in.gov.
Mike Weiler, Ripley County Election Board noted, “I believe voting centers are a natural way to migrate from how elections were conducted in the past. I believe vote centers to be more convenient since the voter can go to any location with Ripley County to vote. They are not tied to a given precinct that they are required to go to cast their ballot. They also provide the county with some potential cost savings on poll workers, meals on election day and even faster results at the end of the election day. I would encourage all registered voters to take a few minutes and fill out the survey.”
Just like when you vote, you have a chance to change where you can vote or leave it the same by filling out a survey.