Vote centers will NOT be coming to St. Joseph County


More than a month after the mid-term elections but only a few short months until the May primaries, the St. Joseph County Election Board made a decision about vote centers.

"I am really grateful for all the information I received this year," said election board chairman, Catherine Fanello. "I just do not support moving forward at this time."

The plan was to go from more than 150 polling stations in various precincts to about 40 centrally located vote centers. But that caused a lot of complications.

"With the issues I have seen in the other counties over the past year, I don't believe we'll be solving any problems," Fanello said. "I believe we'll be creating a new set of problems."

"Even going to vote centers, I can guarantee you, we'd still have problems," said Election Board member, Murray Winn.

Elkhart County switched to a vote center system for the mid-terms. Even with record low turnout, thy still had long lines of people waiting to vote.

"We will not eliminate long lines, whatever we do or don't do, even with vote centers," Winn said.

A lot of the problems in Elkhart were due to technical glitches. That's something that board members expressed concern over, but there are also personnel concerns as well.

"The problem with that is finding enough workers for early voting and also finding enough workers for election day and being able to train those workers for election day," Fanello said.

A lot of the people who wanted to see vote centers admit, there could be some problems initially, but they say that those problems would be sorted out over time. But the board felt this would create more problems while not solving any.

They say it wouldn't save the county any money and it wouldn't make voting any easier.

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