By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – Kosciusko County Clerk Ann Torpy has outlined the plan to transition to vote centers for future elections.
The detailed statement is based on work by the county vote center committee and proposes a list of 21 vote centers that will be used beginning in the 2022 primary (list appears at the bottom of this article in an attachment).
Torpy is a member of the county election board and the vote center committee.
The change to vote centers will eliminate the need to know where to vote.
The key point to vote centers is that they allow county voters to cast ballots at any vote center in the county instead of being assigned by precinct.
Torpy outlined numerous benefits they expect to see after the transition.
“The vote centers will also provide Kosciusko County with financial savings. By having fewer locations, the county spends less taxpayer money on poll workers, meals and rentals on Election Day,” Torpy said in a statement released Tuesday.
By transitioning to vote centers, voter convenience is improved, election administration is streamlined and made simpler and the county’s long-term fiscal stance would be improved when it comes to elections, she said.
The county vote center committee is now seeking public input on the plan and will host a public meeting at 6 p.m. on July 22 in the old courtroom of the courthouse. Residents can also email comments to [email protected] or mail to Kosciusko County Clerk, 121 N. Lake St., Warsaw, 46580.
The county has been moving toward vote centers for several years and approved a resolution supporting the switch in October 2019.
The proposal also shored up plans for early voting, which will begin one month before Election Day.
Under the plan, the county will use two satellite voting centers on the final two Saturdays before the election.
In addition to a satellite vote center at the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds in Warsaw, another will be open in North Webster at the town’s community center. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Members of the vote center committee said recently they would prefer to start with a large number of vote centers and then pare it down in future elections as needed.
A separate plan for vote centers will be determined for city and town elections, the statement said.
The use of vote centers has been gaining ground among Indiana counties. A few counties have been using vote centers since 2007. Kosciusko County will join 47 other counties in the state if the plan wins final approval.
Final approval of the plan is still needed by the three-member county election board, Torpy said.
Below is Kosciusko County Clerk Ann Torpy’s statement and other details about voting centers.