News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Editorials

February 20, 2014

Editorial: A strong move forward for elections

Vote centers demonstrate statewide improvements

TERRE HAUTE — In a little more than two months, voters will go to the polls for what is known as the midterm primary election. Although this is not a presidential election year (everyone can breathe a sigh of relief for that), there are major races on the ballot, including congressional, statehouse and courthouse.

It is important to note that major progress is occurring this year in the process of conducting local elections. Thanks to a progressive move by the state and quick response from Vigo County, 18 new vote centers will be available for the first time for the May 6 primary.

Each of the 18 centers, which replace the old system of precinct polling places, will be equipped with electronic, touch-screen voting equipment. What’s more, registered voters can go to any of the 18 centers to cast votes. The system that’s been installed in Vigo County will track voters who cast ballots, eliminating the chance of fraud by anyone trying to vote more than once.

Vote centers are being rolled out incrementally across the state. Vigo is the first area county to adopt the new system, which will be a major improvement from its former punch-card system.

Implementing modern technology is seen as an important ingredient in making elections better for all. Recent elections across the country have been fraught with problems, and there is a nationwide movement to improve them.

Recently, a presidential commission reported that the “problems that hinder the efficient administration of elections are both identifiable and solvable” and issued recommendations. It should come as no surprise that the fundamental principles in the report lean heavily on the simple concepts of good planning and better equipment.

Here’s a few of the commission’s specific recommendations:

n An expansion of online voter registration by the states to enhance both accuracy of the voter rolls and efficiency.

n Having all states update and exchange their voter registration lists to create the most accurate lists possible to increase registration rates, reduce costs and protect against fraud.

n The expansion of voting before Election Day, recognizing that the majority of states now provide either mail balloting or in-person early voting and that voters are increasingly seeking these options.

n Recognizing and addressing the impending crisis in voting technology as machines bought 10 years ago with post-2000 federal funds wear out and require replacement with no federal appropriations on the horizon.

n The increased use of electronic pollbooks for greater accuracy and efficiency;

n Assuring that polling places are accessible to all voters, are located close to where voters live and are designed to function smoothly.

n Increasing and enhancing training and recruitment of poll workers, in the recognition that volunteer poll workers are voters’ primary source of contact during the actual voting process.

When it comes to being a voter-friendly state, Indiana has its problems. But the state has made progress, as Vigo County’s venture into vote centers shows. There is a long way to go, but we have increasing confidence that Indiana will get there.

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Editorials
  • EDITORIAL: Pondering the jail problem

    Our compliments to Vigo County Councilman Mark D. Bird for taking the time and investing the thought and energy into writing his detailed letter to the editor on the topic of the county’s jail, published in this newspaper on April 13.

    April 19, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911

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  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust

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    April 15, 2014

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    April 13, 2014

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    April 12, 2014

  • GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success

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    April 11, 2014

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    When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.

    April 11, 2014

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    April 9, 2014

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    April 9, 2014 1 Story

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (New roles for proven leaders)

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    April 6, 2014

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    April 5, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A keen eye on ballots

    Our governmental process has challenges at times, but it’s people like Margaret Taylor who make navigating the bumps in the road all worthwhile.

    April 3, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: More jobs from Casey’s

    Local politicians and public officials had been hinting that a major jobs-creation announcement for Vigo County would be made in early 2014.

    April 2, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Indiana 641 worth the wait

    The fabled Indiana 641 bypass around the southeast side of Terre Haute has been a bit of a haunted project. Conceived in the late 1980s by visionary local transportation planners and approved by public officials in 1990, it’s hard to believe that today it remains incomplete.

    April 1, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: New jail is right approach

    It’s prudent that Vigo County’s governmental officials are reluctant to commit money toward an expert study of how to fix problems at our county jail — which is beset with inmate overcrowding, inefficient design, irreparable equipment and few good options for expanding.

    March 30, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Safety on scooters

    As the dust settles around the big issues that dominated the recent session of the Indiana General Assembly, some of the more mundane yet important results of the session are coming to light.

    March 28, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Citizens have until April 7 to become eligible to vote

    Vigo County’s voting process is undergoing a dramatic change this year. Voting centers are replacing precinct polling places, and a touch-screen electronic voting system replaces the pen-and-paper ballot. This represents long-overdue progress, a major advancement in the way people elect candidates for public office.

    March 27, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Bike park plan on a roll

    If you have never explored the remote reaches of the wilderness area at Fowler Park, you may not truly appreciate the potential it has for recreational use by residents or visitors.

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  • Editorial: Noteworthy in the news (When spelling is a family affair)

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    March 25, 2014

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    National political experts closely watch Vigo County each presidential election.

    March 23, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Banking on the future

    The largest and most influential bank in the two-state region centered in Terre Haute seems to have a historical affinity for years ending in the numeral 4.

    March 22, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Are you prepared?

    Indiana is winding down its observance of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, a time set aside to remind us that volatile weather frequently accompanies the arrival of spring.

    March 21, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Calm before the storms

    Spring, as the saying goes, has sprung. It happened Thursday, as the March breeze pushed temps into the 50s and set up what promises to be a spectacular day in the mid-60s today.

    March 20, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: A place in the sun

    This is Sunshine Week, named not for the approaching mild (and hopefully sunny) season of spring, but to promote openness and transparency in  government at all levels.

    March 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Legal questions, legal answers

    When the Republican-dominated Indiana General Assembly earlier this year passed a bill trying to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, many saw it as a small-minded, homophobic, even hateful attack on gay couples and a deprivation of civil rights under the constitution.

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: An event worth watching

    Just across that invisible boundary between campus and city, knowledge, perspectives and — yes — opinions abound on topics of vital import to our lives in the 21st century.

    March 16, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Legislative session produced results both good and bad

    The 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly was gaveled to a close late Thursday after a flurry of activity produced a dizzying variety of legislative action. Within hours, the session results were being both praised and cursed, largely depending on political and ideological views of government’s place in the world.

    March 16, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news

    In the competitive and highly entertaining world of collegiate athletics, Sunday is akin to a national holiday. At 6 p.m., the NCAA will announce the field and seedings of its 2014 Division I men’s basketball tournament.

     

    March 14, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Our children in poverty

    An important gauge for measuring the long-term prospects of a community is the well-being of its children. For all the effort and progress Vigo County has made in rebuilding the economy and improving its quality of life, chronic problems with the welfare of its children still exist.

    March 13, 2014

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