Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

February 19, 2013

Cast a vote for centers

THE ISSUE: Adoption of the vote center concept by Howard County.

OUR VIEW: We urge the county election board to approve vote centers for the 2014 primary. They’re less expensive to operate than traditional polling precincts and more people-friendly to the average voter.

There’ll be no primary election this coming May. Howard County Clerk Kim Wilson likely is relieved.

For the past several years, she’s ensured voting machines were ready to take ballots by cannibalizing some broken models to keep the others operational.

Howard County just can’t find parts for its aging machines.

State certification for the county’s voting machines expires this year. They all must be replaced.

Wilson and other county officials have been studying the possibility of adopting the vote center concept, which was expanded two years ago by the state Legislature. We’re confident county leaders have discovered vote centers to be less expensive to operate than traditional polling precincts and more people-friendly for the average voter.

The county election board will hold a public meeting on vote centers in room 338 of the administration center, 220 N. Main St., at 2 p.m. Wednesday. After the public session, board members are expected to vote to implement vote centers in Howard County.

We urge them to vote unanimously in favor of the concept.

Vote centers give residents a chance to cast ballots at the time and place they find most convenient. Using electronic poll books, each voter’s unique ballot – whether from Honey Creek or Jackson townships – can be produced at any vote center. The poll books update immediately, ensuring a voter casts only one ballot.

Cass County residents have cast ballots at vote centers since 2008, and voter turnout in the countywide 2010 general election suggests they encourage higher participation. Voter turnout in Cass was 51 percent that year; it was 43.9 percent in Howard County.

Vote centers also are cheaper to operate. In Cass, the county clerk consolidated 40 precincts to seven vote centers in 2008, reducing the number of voting machines and poll workers required to conduct the election.

Every Indiana county would realize a savings by using vote centers, the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute says. Three years ago, the non-partisan organization estimated Howard County could save $35,000 a year.

Switching from polling precincts to vote centers requires a unanimous vote of the county election board, and that’s the way it should be. This is a bipartisan process, and neither political party should be able to make such a change without the support of the other.

But we’re confident that after chatting with folks in Cass, Tippecanoe and Wayne counties, Howard County officials will adopt the concept before the 2014 primary election.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Keep eye out for kids

    With most local schools welcoming students in a couple of weeks — and Kokomo schools beginning class Aug. 5 (yes, a week from this coming Tuesday) — it’s important for motorists to think about safe driving as children travel to and from school.Law en

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • LETTERS: Let's hope 7th Circuit sides with couples Let’s hope 7th Circuit sides with couplesIf you blinked over the past month, you probably missed some news about marriage equality in Indiana.First, a federal court ruled that the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples was unconstitutional, whi

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush? Clinton? Next, please

    Here comes a sentence I don’t usually find myself typing: I agree with Barbara Bush on something. Jan. 20, C-SPAN aired her installment in the series “First Ladies: Influence and Image,” which was filmed at Bush’s Houston home. “Do you think there is room for another Bush in The White House?” asked host Peter Slen. “This is a great American country, a great country, and if we can’t find more than two or three families to run for high office, that’s silly, because there are great governors and great eligible people to run,” said Bush. “I think Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes; there are just more families than that.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • State aims at outbreaks More than 200 Western School Corp. students were vaccinated for chickenpox after an outbreak in March 2012.The virus was confirmed to have infected five fifth-graders, the Howard County Health Department reported. It acted quickly to prevent the infe

    July 22, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • LETTERS: Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA? Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA?Let’s see ... Mr. Don Villwock, Indiana Farm Bureau president, wants the FDA to define what genetically engineered foods are, and then he wants it to be optional or voluntary for food companies to tell consumers

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
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.
Obituaries
Poll