Jefferson County should explore vote centers
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:00 AM
Indiana counties should make the switch to vote centers, says Secretary of State Connie Lawson.
We're willing to jump on board if we can be convinced that vote centers - a few strategically placed polling places rather than individual precinct polling places - will make it easier for citizens to cast their ballots.
Chief among our concerns is what it might do for turnout and the ability to vote. Last fall, there were too many television images of people lined up to cast their ballots not only on election day, but during early voting periods.
While we didn't have to wait hours to vote in Jefferson County, some precincts had backups of more than half an hour. Switzerland County is one of a few Indiana counties that have switched to vote centers. County officials there seem satisfied with the system.
Lawson also talks about savings from consolidating precincts into a few vote centers. That would be a secondary benefit, but not reason enough to make the change.
As we go through a year in which there are no elections in Indiana, this is a good time for Jefferson County to give the initiative a thorough study as to how it would impact our county.
With the exception of having to decide tough ballot measures or closely contested races among quality candidates, voting should be a relatively easy task. If vote centers achieve cutting costs while taking advantage of technology to help with the ease of voting, we're all for them.