Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

February 11, 2013

New Elkhart County vote center concept outlined

GOSHEN — ELKHART — Voting at a specified precinct may soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new vote center concept gaining traction with the Elkhart County Election Board.

Wendy Hudson, clerk of the Circuit Court for Elkhart County and member of the election board, provided a detailed rundown of what that vote center concept might look like during the annual Elkhart County Commissioners and County Council Summit held at the Matterhorn Banquet and Conference Center in Elkhart Friday morning.

According to Hudson, legislation was signed in 2011 that gives each Indiana county the option to become a Vote Center county.

Under such a program, traditional polling places would be eliminated and replaced with a designated number of vote centers equally distributed throughout the county. Hudson noted that such vote centers would be open to all eligible voters in the county, essentially allowing voters to cast their ballots at the vote center of their choice, regardless of the precinct in which they live.

“Vote centers allow a voter to cast their ballot at a location that is convenient to them,” Hudson said. “There is no longer a wrong place to vote.”

With more than 120,000 active voters in the county, Hudson said, the county will most likely need one vote center for every 10,000 registered voters, for a total of approximately 13 centers.

Should the county eventually implement such a program, Hudson said one of the first issues to tackle would be determining exactly where each of those 13 vote centers would be located. Such locations would need to be chosen based on a variety of factors and requirements, she said, including space, parking and compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act.

Once the actual vote center locations are determined, Hudson said the next big issue to tackle would be how best to equip those centers with the necessary technology and manpower.

Along those lines, Hudson provided three separate equipment options along with the pros, cons and anticipated cost for each.

Under the first option, the county would use a combination of the county’s current optical-scan and touchscreen machines to equip each vote center at a projected cost of $250,000. Option one was not recommended by Hudson, however, due to the fact that the county’s current equipment is already outdated and will most likely only get the county through one more election before being rendered completely obsolete.

Under option two — Hudson’s top choice for the vote center conversion process — the county would furnish all vote centers with new, state-of-the-art voting units at an estimated cost of $878,000. Those machines would replace all optical-scan and touchscreen equipment that Elkhart County currently owns, and would be able to handle every ballot style within the county, therefore requiring fewer machines at each vote center.

Option three would require the county to go with all touchscreen machines at each vote center at a projected cost of $710,000. Hudson said the county would be able to eliminate all ballot-on-demand printers, effectively eliminating the significant printing cost for paper election-day ballots.

Hudson discouraged the county from going with that option because she feels paper ballots are “a better verifiable paper trail for a possible recount.”

Text Only
Local News
  • GN140420 ysk kalil 01.jpg You Should Know: Anthony Kalil GOSHEN -- Goshen native Anthony Kalil has been awarded a Richard Trucker Career Grant, which includes a $10,000 cash prize. He currently lives in New York. The grant is awarded to three of America's top young opera singers who are selected after a by

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140420 The 39 Steps Taking 'Steps' in Bristol BRISTOL -- The Elkhart Civic Theatre crew is set to present the classic Alfred Hitchcock mystery "The 39 Steps" at The Bristol Opera House. Performances of "The 39 Steps" are planned for two weekends -- this coming Friday and Saturday and May 2 and 3

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140420 Kokomo Tornado 03 Recent decisions by FEMA have frustrated state and local leaders KOKOMO, Ind. -- Pamela Jackson thought she was lucky to escape harm as a tornado bore down on her neighborhood last November. She huddled in a bathroom with her two disabled sons, critically ill husband and six other family members as the twister ble

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140418 ghs high mileage team 12.jpg Goshen High School Super Mileage team to compete in national competition for third straight year GOSHEN -- The Goshen High School Super Mileage team is heading to Houston this week to compete in the Shell Eco Marathon for the third consecutive year. The team, led by engineering technology teacher J.J. Johnson, is taking two cars to the competiti

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • BIZ GN0420 tech talk image Mistakes businesses make with their home page Mistakes businesses make with their home page

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140420 boston marathon 04.jpg Undeterred by last year's bombing, several locals return for Monday's Boston Marathon GOSHEN "Boston Strong" is the moniker that emerged from Boston a year ago, describing the way people dealt with the tragic events that marred the 117th annual running of the Boston Marathon. Three spectators were killed and 264 more people injured w

    April 19, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140419 good friday 04 Local Christians reflect in advance of Easter Sunday GOSHEN - Members of the community gathered at First Presbyterian Church of Goshen to observe Good Friday with a Stations of the Cross tour.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Briefly Elkhart Store opens at mall Creative Life Memories is now open at Concord Mall. The store is owned by Jose Elizalde, a native of Chicago, Goshen College graduate and resident of Elkhart County. CLM specializes in engraving and personalizing small gif

    April 19, 2014

  • GN140419 cyclists return 05 Trio of GC alums return from Pan-American trek GOSHEN — The dream for a pan-American cycling adventure was born for Levi Smucker, Abe Stucky, and Michael Miller on the couches in a dormitory room at Goshen College in late 2010,

    April 18, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140419 children's book experience 'Children's Book Experience' Saturday at Better World Books

    A “Children’s Book Experience” for young people in elementary and middle school is set from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Better World Books in downtown Goshen.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest