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County Election Board Proposes Consolidation of Voting Locations

January 3, 2012
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01/04/12 After weeks of discussion and decision making, the Marshall County Election Board formulated a near final proposal for voting sites that they presented to the Marshall County Commissioners on Tuesday morning.  Julie Fox, Marshall County Clerk; Steve Harper (R), and Roger Wise (D) presented their proposal for the sites that includes combining some of the locations that were used in the past. Those locations being combined are in North, Center and West Townships.

Ultimately, the Commissioners approve where the polling locations will be located.

Following the presentation, the Board met for a regular meeting.

In the proposal, the Board indicated that the consolidation would mean having 16 locations as opposed to the 23 used in the past and cutting the number of poll workers from 203 to 167.  The estimated savings by following the proposal is $9,510 per election or a 35 percent reduction from previous years. The reasons given for consolidating include the difficulty finding poll workers and to save money. There was no consolidation within the City of Plymouth since the State Election Law states that the City must re-precinct in the 2012 year.

The proposal includes the following locations: Triton High School, Marshall County Building, Plymouth Fire Station, Webster Recreation Center, Knights of Columbus, Plymouth Baptist Church, Lake of the Woods Clubhouse, Bremen High School, Methodist Church (Argos), Tyner Community Building, Tippecanoe Community Building, Culver Library, and the Pretty Lake Fellowship Hall. The board continues to research possible sites in North 1, 2 and 3 precincts.  During the Commissioner’s meeting they explained that the parking lot at the Community Building could be an issue in the spring or fall is the weather is wet.  The commissioners indicated that they might consider making improvements to permit voting there.

Harper suggested that the board members visit every site and make a layout for the setting up of the actual voting machines and tables used by workers.

Shelly Brown and Rhonda Ferguson of the Clerk’s office will be working on setting the “precinct key” before January 11, which is the first date for state and local candidates to file for the primary election. Brown said, “We will be sending cards to every registered voter so they will know where to vote.”

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Election Board has been set for January 12, 2012 at 8:30 am.

Carol Anders Correspondent

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