TERRE HAUTE —
Vigo County Clerk David Crockett aims to have vote centers in place for the 2014 election.
On Friday, he made that known to the Vigo County Election Board.
“I believe this is the direction we should work toward, but I don’t want to put in a lot of hours into this and not have anything in the end,” he said. “I think vote centers will happen in this state and be mandatory at some point. I would guess in five to seven years it will be something that everyone will have to go to.”
Voter centers do not require a voter to go to their precinct to cast a ballot on election day. Voters can simply go to any vote center in the county to vote.
Currently Vanderburgh, Tippecanoe, Switzerland, Blackford, Cass, Wayne and Johnson counties use vote centers and Floyd County will offer them in 2014. Howard County is nearing completion of steps needed to also offer the centers in 2014, according to the Indiana Secretary of State’s office.
“I’d like to make Vigo County the 10th county with vote centers sometime this year, obviously way before the end of the year,” Crockett told the three member board. Crockett, as county clerk, is also a member of the board.
By law, the election board must unanimously approve the centers. It also requires the approval of the Vigo County Council and Vigo County Board of Commissioners.
The Election Board tabled the issue and is expected to make a final vote at 3 p.m. April 10.
During discussion, Crockett told the board he would like to have 15 to 17 vote centers in Vigo County. “I am thinking we would have eight or nine in the city [of Terre Haute] and another eight outside of the city,” he said.
By law, the county must have a voting site at the county courthouse open 30 days prior to an election. Crockett said he would like to expand on that, with four additional voting sites in the county open for two weeks prior to an election.
Those vote centers would likely be in the northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest parts of the county, he said.
Crockett said the county will have to convert to an electronic, non-paper ballot system, already in use in several other counties. That will save the county money by not having to print nearly 80,000 ballots.
“We will still have to keep some equipment that we still have. It will not eliminate paper ballots totally,” Crockett said, as those will be used by a voter traveling board.
Other savings, he said, would come in a reduction of election workers.
He estimates 250 to 275 workers would be needed on election day at vote centers. Currently, nearly 900 workers are needed, each paid close to or just over $100 a day. The cost of workers is about $88,000 to $90,000, Crockett said.
Crockett estimated about 22 workers would be needed daily in four vote centers open two weeks prior to the election.
Vigo County has 87 voting precincts, located in 56 polling places as of the 2012 election. The cost of the primary and general election was nearly $554,000.
Crockett said he has looked at ways to combine precincts.
“To be honest with you, it is virtually impossible,” Crockett said, “because of districts with city council, county council, state representatives and state senators. It is almost impossible to combine precincts.”
In addition, Crockett said he wants to remove precincts from voting in schools.
“I think for safety reasons, with the school corporation and what they are trying to do to improve safety at the schools, I don’t think it is good for us to open the schools up two days a year and let people walk in,” he said. “Plus it costs the school corporation as they in turn hire more security” for voting days.
Crockett has already held a citizens meeting to get input and earlier this month attended a regional meeting of county clerks on vote centers conducted by Secretary of State Connie Lawson.
Board President Michael A. Slagle asked if precincts would be eliminated.
Crockett said electronic poll books will record what precinct the voter is in. Centers do eliminate the need for a precinct as a voting site.
Slagle noted that using paper ballots also requires the Election Board to interpret the intention of a voter.
“If all electronic, there would not be any need to interpret what somebody’s intent was. If you go this route, you have to be willing to give that up as the cost of doing business,” he said.
Crockett said voters are given several options prior to casting a ballot. Crockett said the voter is asked if this is the ballot they wish to cast.
“I am not totally opposed to [vote centers], but I am not prepared to vote today, but I will be in a couple of weeks” Slagle said, adding he would like to discusses the issue with other constituents. He recommended the board table the issue.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@
Vigo official says he believes centers will eventually be mandatory
TERRE HAUTE —
Vigo County Clerk David Crockett aims to have vote centers in place for the 2014 election.
You’re home now
To say that Michael Curry was stressed is an understatement.
‘Ups and downs’ in the Statehouse
As state legislators head into the final week of the state legislative session, five of them from the Wabash Valley met with citizens Saturday at the Vigo County Public Library in downtown Terre Haute and engaged in conversation about the “ups and downs” of the recent session.
Finding what the kids need
One Saturday morning event in Terre Haute aimed to raise awareness about the resources available to people with disabilities.
Spotting pot, gun in home nets 2 arrests.
Two adults were arrested and two children removed from a Vigo County home on Friday after drugs and a handgun with altered serial numbers were discovered in the home, authorities said.
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: Focus on poverty, inequality
The issues of poverty and inequality will be at the forefront of the 13th annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day on March 18 at Indiana State University.
Tasting their way to a cure
People appeared to be in high spirits Friday inside the historic Indiana Theatre as they gathered for an evening of wine, food and conversation while supporting efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.
Same-sex marriage: 4 couples sue state over ban
Four gay couples from southern Indiana sued the state Friday, seeking to force Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state and issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Time to check smoke alarms
Three years after a house fire on South Nine Street in Terre Haute resulted in the death of three people, a Terre Haute grandmother still wonders if the outcome of that fire would have been different if smoke detectors in the home had been working.
Indiana State Board extends president’s contract
Indiana State University has signed up Dan Bradley, the school’s president, for an additional three years of service.
New animal shelter gets welcome boost
The aging Terre Haute Humane Society shelter is not a place for the faint of heart.
Vigo County high school team in FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional
Drivers of remote-controlled robots will match skills, similar to those used in basketball and soccer, to score in the FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Benefit planned for daycare fire victim
Veronica Gray never met 19-month-old Emma Lloyd, but when she learned about the child’s tragic death in a Sullivan day care fire, she had to do something.
Winter’s costs add up for Vigo
While still within county and city budgets, the snowstorms of January and February were more costly than a year ago.
Mayor Bennett threatens veto of consultant funding
Mayor Duke Bennett is threatening to veto a measure before the Terre Haute City Council that would transfer money into the council’s budget allowing the body to again hire a financial consultant.
Semitrailer fire slows eastbound traffic on Interstate 70
Traffic on Interstate 70 was slowed Thursday afternoon by a semitrailer fire just east of Terre Haute.
Tests show Skittles had no unusual chemicals
The Indiana State Health Department has given Skittles a clean bill of health.
No problems reported in early 10-digit phone dialing
Just be grateful you (probably) aren’t using a rotary telephone these days.
Cloverdale woman sentenced to 10 years in molestation/neglect case
A Cloverdale woman received a 10-year prison sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to child molesting and neglect of a defendant in Vigo Superior Court 3.
College students spend alternative spring break helping in Vigo County
Pruning in the orchard and preparing plants for the garden has been part of the experience for a group of Minnesota students who are spending this week as an alternative spring break at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
MARK BENNETT: How you approach the day will influence if you are a ‘morning person’
I can still see the stacks of coins, 40 cents in each, arranged on the dining room table.
Area Plan Department considering raising fees
The Vigo County Area Planning Department is exploring the possibility of raising the fees for its services.
Tuesday night crash leads to arrest on drug charges
A Terre Haute man was arrested on drug-related charges after a one-car accident Tuesday night in Clay County.
Clock ticking on downtown TIF district
The sun is setting on Terre Haute’s downtown tax increment finance district, which city economic development officials say has been crucial to downtown revitalization, following action this week from the Indiana General Assembly.
Lay pastor files guilty plea in child sex case
A Terre Haute man has pleaded guilty to seven felonies in connection with a child molestation that allegedly involved the man’s wife as well.
Man gets 1 year probation for child, animal neglect
A Vigo County man has been sentenced to one year on formal probation after pleading guilty to housing children and animals in a filthy house.
Three-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 injures three
Three people received minor injuries and one motorist was cited following a three-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 at Springhill Drive at 9:59 a.m. Wednesday.
Sullivan daycare fire victim ID’d
Sullivan County authorities have released the name of a 1 1⁄2-year-old girl who died Tuesday morning in a Sullivan County daycare fire.
Sullivan Daycare fire: Broken hearts
A 11⁄2-year-old girl tragically died early Tuesday morning as the result of a fire at Waterman’s Wonderland Daycare on Sullivan’s south side.
Sony DADC cutting 34 distribution jobs here
Sony DADC is halting product distribution operations from its Terre Haute plant at a cost of 34 jobs, a company official said Tuesday.
Bill ends automatic license suspensions for many crimes
Unpaid parking fines, falling behind on child support, drunken driving: So many offenses trigger a suspended driver’s license in Indiana that more than a half-million Hoosiers have lost their driving privileges. In fact, driving on a suspended license is the most common charged offense, prosecutors say.
- More News Headlines
- You’re home now