Starke County Election Board Schedules Informational Meetings on Vote Centers

Starke County voters have a few chances to learn about a potential switch to vote centers. The first town-hall-style meeting will be held Wednesday, September 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Washington Township Community Building. Additional meetings are tentatively scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on October 9 at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox and October 10 at a location still to be determined in North Judson.

A switch to vote centers typically means fewer polling places, but gives voters the option to cast their ballot at any of the county’s locations. County Clerk Bernadette Welter-Manuel has begun working on a draft vote center plan, with feedback from the rest of the election board.

During last week’s board meeting, she said she’s ready to start presenting the introductory and background information to the public. Some of the reasons cited for the potential switch include the number of voters who are unsure of where to vote and the number of poll workers needed for the current system. More public meetings may be held as work continues on the details of the county’s actual plan.

The Starke County Election Board plans to finalize the dates and locations for the Knox and North Judson information sessions and continue working on the vote center plan, during a special meeting to be held this Thursday. It will start at 12:30 p.m. in the second floor meeting room in the Starke County Courthouse.