News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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May 5, 2014

Making a mark

Voters cast, officials count votes on last early voting day

TERRE HAUTE — Vote centers around Vigo County were busy Monday morning during the final hours of early voting for today’s primary election.

More than 4,000 early votes had been cast by the time the early polls closed at noon Monday. At the Kroger North location, voter business was brisk, as many shoppers entering the grocery took a step to the right to enter the polling place before grabbing a shopping cart.

Jeff and Lori Meyer said they decided to vote early to test the new system.

“If there was any problems, we wanted to make sure they were resolved,” Jeff Meyer said, noting he had some concern about whether he was registered in the new system.

But the Meyerses experienced no problems.

“We’ve done pretty well,” vote center inspector Jack Forsythe said as the Kroger location stayed busy Monday morning. “I think this is really going to alleviate a lot of Tuesday rush to the polls.”

By presenting a photo identification card, the voters were electronically logged in the system and provided with a voter envelope that they took into a curtained voting station. After voting, two initial clerks made sure the ballot was correctly inserted in an envelop and placed into the ballot box.

Forsythe said he thought that some of the older voters might have been intimidated by the technology, but the younger voters seemed to “breeze right through it.”

The voting center at New Life Fellowship in East Glen had a steady flow of voters since it opened up last week.

Voter Barbara Weber of Seelyville said she preferred to vote early because she has to work on election day.

“I’d rather avoid the rush, and it’s convenient,” she said. “This is a lot easier than having to go down to the courthouse to vote earlier.”

At the Vigo County Courthouse — where early voting began April 8 — the poll workers had 32 ballots cast on Monday.

Irene Miller who works in the Prosecutor’s Office was one of those early voters.

“To be honest, I don’t feel good today, so I thought I’d vote early just in case,” Miller said.

Feedback so far to the new voting system has been mostly positive.

“We had one person upset,” said Kim Mitchell of the Election Board, “but once the process was explained, then that person was OK with it.”

Mitchell said that for some people, getting used to the new machines has been the biggest issue. There had been no technical difficulties reported from vote centers on Monday, she said.

The real test of the system, however, occurs today when the polls open at 6 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m. Voters are reminded to present a photo ID such as a state-issued driver’s license, identification card, passport or military ID.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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