Pulaski County Election Board Members Voicing Support for Starke County Vote Center Plan

As the Starke County Election Board prepares to take another vote on a switch to vote centers, Pulaski County Election Board members plan to weigh in. The Starke County Election Board is expected to vote on its vote center plan next Wednesday, after it failed to get a unanimous vote during last week’s meeting.

Among those in attendance will be Pulaski County Clerk JoLynn Behny. “I am planning on going up to the Starke County Election Board meeting on the 22nd to voice my support,” she told the rest of the Pulaski County Election Board Thursday.

During Thursday’s meeting, Board Member Jessye Gilley said she’d also attend if invited by Starke County Clerk Bernadette Welter-Manuel. Board Chair Patty Sullivan can’t make it, but said she’d support the change. “I’ll definitely help as much as I can,” Sullivan said.

Under the vote center model, there are typically fewer polling places overall, but voters have the option to cast their ballot at any of the locations in their county. Pulaski County has been using vote centers since 2016.

Most Starke County residents appear to be in favor of the change, based on feedback the county has received. But Election Board Member Harrison Fields has repeatedly voiced concerns, and said he still has more questions he’d like answered before he’s ready to approve it. He has also expressed skepticism about implementing vote centers during a presidential election year, something that Pulaski County did. Wednesday’s Starke County Election Board meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. CST in the Starke County Courthouse.

In other business Thursday, the Pulaski County Election Board voted to keep Patty Sullivan as chair, during a brief reorganization. As county clerk, JoLynn Behny serves as the board’s secretary.