JASPER COUNTY — Jasper County voters will have increased convenience and flexibility when it comes to casting their vote in the May 2022 Primary Election.
The county recently announced the switch from precincts — historically located at 29 sites — to 10 vote centers strategically placed throughout the townships. Voters from every precinct may vote at any vote center location.
Jasper County is one of 48-plus Indiana counties switching to vote centers with the May 2022 Primary.
Jasper County Clerk Kara Fishburn welcomes the switch to vote centers. Fishburn worked with state officials over the past year in preparing the vote center concept.
“It has taken a lot of planning and hard work from all those involved,” she said, “but the benefits to the voters of Jasper County will be well worth the effort we have spent implementing vote centers.”
The most common questions county officials receive on Election Day is “Where is my polling location?” or “I work outside the county and I can’t make it to the polling location located by my house by 6 p.m. on Election Day” or “All the ballots are on the voting machines during absentee voting, why aren’t they on Election Day?” Fishburn said.
“Vote centers address these common concerns by broadening the voter’s ability to cast their ballot,” she added. “This will give the voters of Jasper County the opportunity to cast their ballot at any vote center in the county on Election Day.”
Vote centers eliminate the need for traditional polling places while allowing voters in the county more flexibility regarding where they can cast their ballots.
Fishburn stressed that the centers do not replace absentee voting, which will continue to be offered prior to Election Day.
There are cost saving benefits as well, Fishburn said. A smaller work force as well as less equipment are needed for the centers.
According to a study prepared by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, voting machines are a large expense and are often underutilized. Voting machines cost about $4,000 each and must be replaced after around 10 years of use.
When counties experience low voter turnout, the voting machines are underused.
“Evidence suggests this could be an area where counties could realize significant savings,” the study reported.
The study also reported that the combination of vote centers and satellite voting offers further potential savings. As early voting gains in popularity, election resources can be used on several days rather than one.
“Ultimately, our goal is make voting easier and more convenient for the voters of our county while also saving the county money,” Fishburn said.
For updated information, visit the Jasper County Clerk’s Facebook page.