The Starke County Election Board has recommended early and absentee voting hours for May’s primary elections.
During their meeting on Wednesday morning, the calendar for Starke County residents to cast a ballot was considered. Early and absentee voting will take place in the Starke County Clerk’s office five days per week and two Saturdays in April.
Board member Dan Bridegroom says the Election Board should focus to provide better training to its volunteers.
“Training has got to be better this year than it was last year,” says Bridegroom. “Cause that’s all I heard everyplace I went: I don’t know what I’m doing [etc.] and it’s got to be by the book this year. That’s the law anyhow, but it’s by the book.”
The Election Board was attempting to balance the hours worked against training Election Day volunteers and clerk’s office employees hours worked.
The first day to cast an absentee ballot will be April 5th of this year. Voting hours will take place between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. A slight change will be seen on April 28th where early voting will be extended until 7:00 p.m.
The Election Board said it was essential to provide as many opportunities to vote as possible. A relatively large turnout is expected during what is otherwise a controversial presidential election cycle.
Starke County Democratic Party Chair Kenny Wallace says the area could see a significant increase in turnout compared to previous years.
“It will be compared to what we’ve been having,” says Wallace. “I’ll bet you we have somewhere between 40 and 50%. I guarantee it. And that’s a lot more people than you’ve been having.”
Starke County has seen a large absentee voter turnout in previous years: 2,300 in 2014, alone.
Saturday voting will take place April 23rd and 30th.