Starke County Commissioners Consider Vote Center Locations

While North Judson voters had to the polls today for the Municipal General Election, the Starke County Election Board members are looking toward the future with Vote Centers.

During the Starke County Commissioners meeting on Monday night, Clerk Bernadette Welter-Manuel and Starke County Election Board President Marcia Bedrock presented a list of Vote Center locations for the commissioners to consider.

With the proposed list, the number of polling places would be reduced from 21 to 7.  The proposed locations are existing polling sites and would be incorporated into a Vote Center plan yet to be approved. 

The locations are the Koontz Lake Property Owners Building, James R. Hardesty Community Building in Hamlet, Washington Township Community Building, Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox, North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Department building, San Pierre Fire Department building, and Bass Lake Fire Department building. 

The commissioners approved the list as presented.

Resident Kenny Wallace expressed concern about longer wait times with the consolidation of voting sites, but Welter-Manual stated that statistics in other counties show a reduced wait time.  In addition, she mentioned that more voting machines will be present at the polling sites to accommodate a potential increase in voters at a location since any eligible voter can vote at any Vote Center.

The Starke County Election Board members plan to have a draft of the Vote Center plan for the public during the joint Starke County Council and Commissioners meeting on Monday, Nov. 18 which will be followed by a public comment time period through Jan. 2.