Vote centers could greatly minimize a county’s cost per vote by helping election administrators anticipate turnout and modify the number of locations and staffers accordingly. With precinct voting, the number of polling locations and staffers is fixed, unless a county official takes action to change it. This means many counties have underutilized locations that keep costs high and misuse resources. But the IFPI study estimated that Madison County could lower its cost per vote by 41 percent if it switched to more efficient vote centers.
I understand some people are concerned that vote centers would increase the potential for voter fraud. After all, if a person can vote in any vote center, what would stop them from going to multiple polling places to vote more than once?
However, the General Assembly required county election boards to prove they have electronic safeguards in place to prevent this type of fraud before they are allowed to create vote centers. These systems notify other polling places that a person has already voted at a different location, preserving the integrity of our election process and ensuring each person gets only one vote.
The Madison County Election Board should take another look at the vote centers issue and consider how much our community could benefit from these new resources. With voter turnout at a low rate nationwide, we must do all we can to encourage our citizens to participate in the election process by making it as convenient for them as possible.
Doug Eckerty, a Republican, represents a portion of Madison County in Indiana Senate District 26.