South Bend. Ind. — The League of Women Voters is weighing in on a vote that could eliminate the St. Joseph County voter registration board.
If the proposal passes, the county clerk would be placed in charge of voter registration duties.
The County commissioners are scheduled to vote on this proposal at Tuesday night's meeting.
While the League of Women Voters doesn't have an official stance yet... they are raising a few concerns.
Supporters of the proposal to abolish the St. Joseph County voter registration board claim the move would save quote "a significant amount of money." They say it would eliminate some positions, by moving voter registration under the county clerk.
"It just seems more logical to have somebody watching over that office and if there's times where they could pick up work that clerk's office usually does when there's not a voting cycle, I'm sure they could do that,” said Derek Dieter, (R) St. Joseph County Commissioner.
The proposal calls for dividing up voter registration activities 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats.
However, it also would let the clerk appoint any employee, regardless of political affiliation, if there is an open position.
"And so it's not clear why you would want a clerk, whether democrat or republican, to appoint somebody who wouldn't create that kind of balance," said Elizabeth Bennion, League of Women Voters of South Bend, area spokesperson.
The League of Woman Voters spokesperson says they question if open government-related laws were followed.
WSBT asked, “Have you done any sort of research involving the community or has the community had any input in this kind of decision up until this point.”
“No, we haven't. The discussions we've had have just been internal with the county clerk. Amy, now that she's in office, has looked at the operation of the county clerk's office and feels that the voter registration function can be done in her office more efficiently," said Carl Baxmeyer, (R) St. Joeph County Commission President.
Bennion said, "Anytime we look at the handling of voter registration applications, we need to take that just as seriously as we do the handling of ballots. Because so much of what happens in an election is based on who's eligible to cast a vote and who turns out."
The commissioners are expecting to vote on the abolishment of the voter registration board at Tuesday night's meeting at 6:00 p.m.