Board working on plan for early voting locations

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Plans for early voting locations are being hammered out by the Dubois County Election Board.

Those locations will mostly mimic locations used for the most recent presidential election.

County Clerk Amy Kippenbrock showed election board members Roger Messmer and John Birk a listing of proposed early voting locations and dates for the primary election. The only difference on her list was that there was no listing for early voting in Dubois on the two Saturdays before the May 5 Primary Election Day.

Birk said he thinks voting should be available on those two Saturdays in Dubois.

“My push always is more availability for more places for more opportunities to vote,” he said. “I understand there’s a cost. But Dubois is especially isolated in comparison to, say, Haysville, Ferdinand, even Holland. That is my concern.”

Kippenbrock pointed out that an early voting site will be at the Dubois Library on April 30. It is part of the week when a voting location will open for a day in five different communities: St. Henry, Haysville, Schnellville, Dubois and Birdseye.

Messmer mentioned that there would be opportunities to vote on April 24 and May 2, the two Saturdays prior to Election Day, at the courthouse annex and the 35th Street Fire Station in Jasper, as well as in Huntingburg and Ferdinand. Birk said people in Dubois would still have to drive a bit of a distance to get to those.

“Yes, you have the courthouse annex,” Birk said, “but even then they have to travel to the courthouse annex.”

Whatever the board decides to set as election locations in the spring must also be done in the fall. “We can add to it,” Kippenbrock said. “But we can’t take away.”

So another thought was to add the two Saturdays of early voting for Dubois in the fall.

After the discussion, all three decided that it would be best to try and add Dubois to the schedule for early voting on the two Saturdays. Kippenbrock said that she would check to see if the Dubois Branch Library is available. “We can just add it to the list and give more options,” she said.

Board members also discussed early voting for the two Saturdays at the Huntingburg Event Center. Kippenbrock mentioned that one of the two Saturdays prior to the fall election is not available because of a wedding. And since the fall must mimic the spring, the board needed to decide how it wanted to change the schedules.

The board knew that it did not want to move to another location.

“That causes voter confusion,” Kippenbrock said. “People will call and say, ‘I voted here last year.’ That’s my motivation for keeping it at the event center.”

Board members asked about having voting on the Friday and Saturday before the Nov. 3 General Election Day. It would add more options for voting, Messmer noted. And voting options could be increased in the fall, maybe to a week, if needed, the board determined.

Kippenbrock said she will check to see if the event center was available the Friday and Saturday before Primary Election Day and General Election Day.

The election board plans to meet again at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25; the location has not yet been determined.




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