News From Terre Haute, Indiana


March 9, 2013

Official touts vote centers for reducing costs

Secretary of State Connie Lawson stages regional meeting for county election officials

TERRE HAUTE — Vote centers can reduce costs of equipment and poll workers and permit voters to cast a ballot outside their traditional precinct, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Friday in Terre Haute.

Lawson, a former Hendricks County clerk and former state senator, facilitated a regional meeting at the First Financial Bank Conference Center for county election officials to consider using a vote center model as an alternative to traditional voting precincts in elections.

“We really just want to have a conversation with the clerks in a casual atmosphere where they can learn about vote centers and will feel comfortable asking questions and they can determine for their county what is right for them to do,” Lawson said.

Lawson said vote centers are about the voter.

“Mostly it is convenience for the voter, because there is no wrong place on election day in that county for a voter to vote,” Lawson said. “Usually vote centers are located in high traffic areas. Some counties have used malls, they have used grocery stores and used popular restaurants.”

Friday’s meeting brought clerks, county commissioners and election officials from Sullivan, Clay, Owen, Greene and Vigo counties and was the third of 13 planned meetings Lawson will conduct.

“Vote centers also help cash-strapped [county] governments which spend on average of $100,000 per election. This is an opportunity [for counties] to reduce the number of locations and possibly reduce the number voting equipment as well poll workers. So there is an opportunity for them to save money,” Lawson said.

Vigo County has 87 voting precincts, located in 56 polling places during the 2012 elections. The total cost of the 2012 primary and general elections in Vigo County was nearly $554,000, said county Auditor Tim Seprodi.

Brad King, co-counsel of the Indiana Election Division, said one voting center is required for every 10,000 registered voters “plus any fraction past that.” So if a county has 20,001 registered voters, that could would require three voting centers, King said.

Vigo County has 76,541 registered voters, meaning the county would need a minimum of eight vote centers. A unanimous vote from the county election board is required, followed by approved resolutions from the county council and board of county commissioners to enact vote centers, Lawson said.

Judith Anderson, president of the Vigo County Board of Commissioners, who attended the meeting, said she supports the use of vote centers. Also, Anderson said she would favor the use of as many vote centers as possible as absentee voting sites prior to an election.

“The interest of the people’s vote is what we are looking for, and that is who we need to accommodate,” Anderson said. “I think initially there will probably be a cost to get this all set up, but when looking at the potential outcome, it is phenomenal. That is what this country is based on, the peoples’ votes.”

Vigo County Clerk David Crockett, who also attended the meeting, said he has “a great amount of interest” in voting centers.

“I know that there are questions and lot of things to be looked at, but I also know there are counties in the state already using them. I know that we have a great expense in elections for a number of years and I know when we had satellite voting, voting increased,” Crockett said.

Crockett said the county has started a process for vote centers, but said the location of vote centers must be determined to best benefit voters. “It will make it a lot more convenient for people rather than having to worry about getting back to their precinct to vote,” he said.

Lawson said there are initial costs, especially if a county replaces its voting equipment. If equipment is retained, only electronic poll books, ranging from $3,500 to $5,000 each, would be required. The electronic poll books are in “real time” during an election, which when a voter has cast a ballot, all other voting centers would know that person has voted, Lawson said.

“There is a need for a good Internet connection at each voting center,” she added.

Lawson said one vote center, in addition to a site at the county clerk’s office, must be open prior to an election as an absentee ballot site. Many counties with vote centers use half their sites for absentee voting, she said.

In 2007, Tippecanoe, Wayne and Cass counties served as “pilot” counties for voting centers. Lawson, as a state senator, later authored legislation to make vote centers optional for all Indiana counties. Now seven counties — Vanderburgh, Tippecanoe, Switzerland, Blackford, Cass, Wayne, Johnson — offer vote centers, with Floyd County to offer voting centers in 2014.

“We are also sure that Howard County is pretty close,” Lawson said. “We think there will be nine counties for sure by 2014 with voting centers.”

Lawson said counties would be required to mail voters a postcard, with a barcode, which the voter would turn in when casting a ballot. Tippecanoe County has since installed the capability of using a swipe for driver’s licenses, which reads the barcode on the license.

King said that because there currently are not requirements that electronic poll books be certified by the state, he recommended that counties consider books that contain a signature pad for a voter to sign, have the capability to swipe a state driver’s license for voter identification and have the ability display the original signature of a voter from an existing county poll book for comparison of signatures.

Karen Weaver, a member of the Owen County Election Board, said Owen County is a rural county and one option that she thinks could be explored is the use of a new library bus as a mobile voting center.

“It would be worthwhile to see if that is feasible,” Weaver said, adding she would have to research if it can be secured and meet state voting standards.

While Owen County would likely be required to have three voting centers, if it enacted the centers, Weaver said she thinks the county would need five — one in each direction and one in the middle of the county.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Camm Steidl ISU Justice system questioned

    David Camm says that when he looks critically at the Indiana State Police today, he sees arrogance, ego and the desire for personal — even monetary — gain.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Death certificate delay angers Health Board

    The Vigo County coroner is not signing death certificates in a timely manner as required by law, according to the Vigo County Health Department.

    April 23, 2014

  • MET042314 glove.jpg MARK BENNETT: The memories from a baseball mitt fit like a glove

    Man hasn’t developed the technology for time travel.
    The smell of your old baseball glove can come pretty close, though.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Former Parke County teacher arrested on felony charges

    A former Montezuma Elementary teacher — who also had served as president of the Southwest Parke Education Association — was arrested Wednesday on felony counts related to alleged missing funds, according to Indiana State Police.

    April 23, 2014

  • Bucshon has commanding money lead

    Incumbent U.S. Rep. Larry D. Bucshon of Newburgh has a commanding lead in campaign funds over fellow Republican Andrew McNeil of Freedom for the May 6 primary election, according to election reports from the Federal Election Commission.

    April 23, 2014

  • MET042314 arborday dell.jpg City’s first Arbor Day awards named

    Terre Haute and its citizens were recognized on Wednesday night for contributions to the urban forest.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • kersey turner Turner skips House ethics hearing

    House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner skipped a House ethics review Wednesday but claimed in filings submitted to the panel that he did nothing wrong when he fought legislation that would have cost him millions of dollars in profits.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Activity Fair is Saturday at park

    Are you looking for fun, afterschool and summer activities for your kids? You can review options a the Greater Terre Haute Afterschool Network Camps and Activities Fair from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Vigo County YMCA at Fairbanks Park, according to a press release.

    April 23, 2014

  • Children’s charity to conduct fundraiser this weekend

    March for Babies — the March of Dimes premier fundraising event that benefits all babies — will step off Saturday morning at ISU’s Memorial Stadium on the east side of Terre Haute.

    April 23, 2014

  • Villa Grove High School students win state anti-drinking PSA contest

    The State of Illinois on Wednesday announced that students from the eastern Illinois’ Villa Grove High School won the Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s statewide video public service announcement contest. The announcement ceremony at the Douglas County school also served as the statewide kickoff for this spring’s Your Actions Matter! underage drinking awareness campaign.

    April 23, 2014

  • MET 042214 SWIM BULL.jpg Swim by 7 program

    Swim by 7 is a collaborative effort involving the United Way of the Wabash Valley and the Vigo County School Corp. As envisioned, all VCSC kindergarten students would participate in the learn-to-swim program once the new VCSC Aquatics Facility is constructed and ready for use at Voorhees Park.

    April 22, 2014 6 Photos 1 Video

  • Candidates file finance reports

    The Democratic race for judge of Vigo County Superior Court Division 2 boasts the most fundraising of all campaigns for the May 6 primary election.

    April 22, 2014

  • MET042214 earthdaymcclennan.jpg Mayor Duke Bennett leads community discussion on litter

    Talking trash in the neighborhood can get down and dirty.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Public hears about grant to clean up E. coli in Otter Creek

    Greg Dunham has known Otter Creek since his childhood. “I walked that creek. I lived in that creek and I was all the time fishing in it, so this was news to me” he said about the concern of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the Otter Creek watershed.

    April 22, 2014

  • MET042214 elanco.jpg Lilly to buy Novartis Animal Health

    Eli Lilly and Co. plans to acquire Novartis Animal Health for about $5.4 billion, a move believed to strengthen and diversify Lilly’s own animal health business, Elanco.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 042114 NEW ISU TRACK.jpg VIDEO: Indiana State breaks ground for $4.3M riverside track and field facility

    Indiana State University officials, community leaders and donors broke ground Monday on a new, $4.3 million track and field facility on the Wabash riverfront, along North First Street.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos 1 Video

  • Panel approves new school benchmarks

    A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new math and English standards set to replace the Common Core in classrooms this fall.

    April 21, 2014

  • schaffer, aaron.jpg Man to face several charges in Linton shooting death

    A homicide northeast of Linton is being investigated by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • aquatic center exterior.jpg Board approves bond structure to fund central pool project

    The Vigo County School Corp.’s $9.8 million aquatics center is “on schedule” and “the budget looks good,” Superintendent Dan Tanoos told the School Board on Monday.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Judge: Indiana hasn’t given good reason for same-sex marriage ban

    A federal judge has said that attorneys defending Indiana’s gay marriage ban haven’t given a valid reason why the state should not recognize the out-of-state marriage of a lesbian couple, one of whom has a terminal illness.

    April 21, 2014

  • Police: Death from natural causes for 2 bodies found in home

    Death by natural causes has been ruled in the deaths of two people whose bodies were found Sunday evening inside their Pimento area home in southern Vigo County.

    April 21, 2014

  • MET 042114 NEW FIREFIGHTER.jpg 10 men, 1 woman added to Fire Dept. ranks

    Eleven recruits joined the ranks of the Terre Haute Fire Department on Monday during a swearing-in ceremony at Terre Haute City Hall.

    April 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Mayor to host Earth Day event for children

    Mayor Duke Bennett has partnered with Indiana State University and the Vigo County Public Library to invite children grades K-5 for an evening of hands-on, environmental learning at the City’s first Earth Day Extravaganza. The free event will be today, Earth Day, from 4 ot 6 p.m. at the library.

    April 21, 2014

  • City to host Arbor Day award reception Wednesday

    Terre Haute’s urban forester and Mayor Duke Bennett will host Terre Haute’s first Arbor Day Urban Forest Award reception at 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Ohio Building.

    April 21, 2014

  • MET 042014 DOUBLE-DEATH.jpg 2 bodies found in Pimento home

    Police were at the scene of a death investigation on Sunday in southern Vigo County.
    “It’s a double death investigation,” Vigo County Chief Deputy Clark E. Cottom told the Tribune-Star at the scene.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT041614 morrismorris.jpg BOSTON MARATHON: Not intimidated

    One reason Mike Morris — and many runners can relate — has been a distance runner for 30 years is it’s restorative powers. Not to the body but to the mind.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • MET 041814 HUXFORD PAT.jpg VIDEO: Overcoming symptoms

    Even when he was in grade school, it was obvious Justin Huxford was a special kid.
    He was the first at Rio Grande Elementary School to walk 100 miles around the school grounds over the school year, one of just a handful of kids to meet the goal.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos 1 Video

  • MET 042014 POWELL EASTER.jpg Answering the call

    Static was the only thing on TV or radio. People were on their knees as they prayed. It was, as if for three whole days, the world stood still.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • TH wins 8th Tree City USA ‘Growth’ award

    Terre Haute was named a 2013 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.

    April 20, 2014

  • ISU hosts Ukraine panel today

    In Ruth Fairbanks’ morning commute to work recently, she heard two news stories on the radio about Ukraine. Considering her drive-time is just five minutes, it demonstrates how unstable — and newsworthy — Eastern Europe is these days.

    April 20, 2014

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Air Force: $4.2B Saved From Grounding A-10s Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police
NDN Video
Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson

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.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News