Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita urges taxpayers in Elkhart County to make a case for vote centers
(Indianapolis) – Elkhart County taxpayers could save $46,823 per election by implementing Vote Centers, according to a recent study by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute. Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita is touting the fiscal benefits of Vote Centers and communicating with local elected officials about the specific projected savings for their county, as the Indiana General Assembly considers giving local officials the option of adopting Vote Centers.
The Indiana General Assembly is considering measures to expand an existing pilot program that authorizes Vote Centers in only three Indiana counties. The Vote Centers option is included in Senate Bill 241. In order for Vote Centers to be allowed statewide, a new law would be needed.
“My office will continue to look for tools that can be added to the local government toolbox so that communities can build a fiscally responsible future,” said Secretary Rokita. “I encourage Hoosier voters and taxpayers to contact their legislators in the Indiana House and Senate to support Vote Centers.”
The Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute used reports from pilot counties, interviews with election officials and publicly available election data to develop a fiscal model to identify potential cost savings for each county. The full study can be accessed online at www.in.gov/sos/elections/3574.htm. Key findings of the study include:?
Vote Centers would produce significant savings for all counties that implemented them. Such savings are particularly noticeable in counties with a low number of registered voters per precinct. Also, counties that already locate more than one precinct in the same location would experience significant cost savings.
Vote Centers give local election officials more flexibility. With precincts, the number of locations and the level of staffing are fixed. County officials can do little to reduce cost per vote. With Vote Centers, election administrators can anticipate turnout and modify the number of locations and the level of staffing to suit their needs.
Vote Centers produce immediate and long-term savings. This study finds savings would result every election day as well as when time comes to repurchase voting equipment.
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