Vote center plan approved

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Next year, voters will be able to choose any open voting location on Election Day to cast their ballot, instead of having to go to a specific precinct location.

The Dubois County Election Board approved on Monday a new plan to have vote centers in the county.

There will be nine vote centers on Election Day, located at:

• Celestine Community Club, 7742 E. Ellsworth Road

• Dubois Ruritan Park, 5430 E. Jasper-Dubois Road

• Holland United Methodist Church, 205 Second Ave.

• Huntingburg Event Center, 110 E. 14th St.

• Jasper Middle School, 3600 N. Portersville Road

• St. Anthony Community Center, 4665 S. Cross St.

• St. Mary’s Community Center, 2829 N. County Road 500W, Ireland

• Thyen-Clark Cultural Center, 100 Third Ave., Jasper

• Tri-County YMCA, 131 E. 16th St., Ferdinand

“This is a tremendous step forward for voters, poll workers, and local election administrators,” County Clerk Amy Kippenbrock said in a press release. “One major change the voters will notice is any Dubois County registered voter may now vote at any open Election Day location in Dubois County.”

The plan is the culmination of research done by a 12-member committee that studied the current voting locations, including the early voting sites, and evaluated where the vote centers would be best located. The results of the study and the plan can be viewed on the Dubois County Clerk’s page of the Dubois County Government website, www.duboiscountyin.org.

The plan also includes the location of early voting sites. State statute allowing vote centers requires that at least two vote center sites must be open and available to voters on the two Saturdays before Election Day. For Dubois County, those sites are the Huntingburg Event Center and the Tri-County YMCA. But other early voting locations will be available, like in the past. Other early voting sites are the Dubois County Courthouse Annex and the 35th Street Fire Station in Jasper.

Roaming board voting sites will still be established and utilized the week before the election. Those locations are St. Henry CK of A on Monday, Haysville Fire Station on Tuesday, Schnellville Fire Station on Wednesday, Dubois Branch Library on Thursday and Birdseye Fire Station on Friday.

Inquiries have been made about making sure a voter does not cast a ballot at one location and then go to another to vote again. Kippenbrock has said that the electronic poll books, which are already used at voting sites, will keep track of who votes where and will not let someone check into a second voting site.

A voter’s license is scanned at the poll book, which is an iPad and that person signs the poll book on the tablet. The poll books are connected to the Cloud, which syncs, at a minimum, every two minutes. So if someone would try to go to a different location to vote, the system would note that the voter has already checked in at a different voting location and wouldn't allow the new check-in to automatically go through, Kippenbrock explained.

To make sure there are no internet issues, so that the poll books stay synced and current, stronger hotspots will be purchased for locations that have weaker internet signals, Kippenbrock has said.




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