Starke County Election Board Presents Polling Place Consolidation Plan to Commissioners

In a little under 18 weeks, you will be going to the polls to vote in the 2012 Primary Election. The Starke County Election Board members appeared before the county commissioners this week seeking approval of new consolidated polling locations. Election Board President Pat Mitchell said they learned a lot from last year’s Municipal Election and that helped them in the decision to consolidate throughout the county.

The savings for the Primary and General elections in 2012 will be over $9,000 dollars according to County Clerk Evelyn Skronski.

“Our intentions are to relocate to reduce cost and for the convenience of the voters. We plan to relocate California One, Center Five, Center Six, North Bend, Oregon One and Three, and Wayne Four.”

Some thought was given to making each of the polling places more handicapped accessible.

“We have visited each precinct and polling place to look at what needed to be done to bring them up to HAVA and this is part of why we are consolidating. There is better accessibility to the polling places that are proposed.”

Skronski said the board was coming before the commissioners early because all voters have to be notified of polling place changes at least 30 days to six weeks before the Primary.

The commissioners have the final say on the changes. Pat Mitchell said the Secretary of State’s office is urging consolidation, pointing out that some counties are even ahead of Starke. In some instances, only four to five polling centers are being established.

The commissioners asked to study the plan until the February 6th meeting when they will either approve the changes, or send it back to the Election Board for further modification. They also instructed the members to provide copies to the county chairmen for their input.