Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Legislative Recommendation: Adoption of Voting Centers to Replace Antiquated Precinct Polling System

Linda Rhoton in today's Indianapolis Star pens an excellent letter to the editor discussing her conversation with poll workers about the fact that the polling place she voted at in Indianapolis lacked poll workers and the ones who staffed the polling place had to work all day without a break.

The comments reflect what I experienced working as a clerk at the polls. I thought Marion County reducing the numbers of precincts in order to reduce the number of polling places and workers needed was a strange approach to the labor shortage and would backfire in high turnout elections. Indeed the long lines at many polling places in Marion County was due as much to the increased size of the precincts than the higher turnout.

The answer to the problem in Marion County was not to increase the size of the precincts, but to scrap the precinct polling place all together and to go to fewer, larger voting centers where voters can vote anywhere in the county. The labor required to put on an election could be reduced dramatically and voters would have the convenience of voting at any voting center they choose. It could also improve the security of the ballot and better assure election rules are followed. I know it is not always the Republican way to make voting easier, but voting centers is an idea whose time has clearly come, not only for Marion County, but for all counties in Indiana. Let's hope the Indiana General Assembly makes it happen.


Anonymous said...

WOuldn't that make Center Township shenanigans more difficult?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon, yes I certainly think it would make it more difficult to commit fraud in those precincts dominated by one party. Many of those are in Center Township. People don't realize it but there are many precincts which aren't staffed by Republicans AND Democrats in eevry election.

P3 Girlfriends said...

I was interested in your civil rights article but you referred to the Democratic Party as the Democrat party one too many times and the blatant disrespect pissed me off so I wont be coming back to your blog.

Paul K. Ogden said...

p3, actually "Democratic Party" is not grammatically correct. That's why I sometimes don't use it. It's a respect for the English language not a disrespect for Democrats. I would agree though that "Democratic Party" sounds a lot better but it simply is not grammatically correct.

I go back and forth on using the grammatically correct "Democrat Party" and "Democratic Party" which rolls off the tongue much better. I should be more consistent. However, you're reading way too much into which term I use.

Anonymous said...

Weird, how did women from Arizona find their way to your blog about local Indiana politics. Maybe they don't have anything going on and just sit around googling who writes using "Democrat Party".

Paul K. Ogden said...


I don't know. I know it doesn't sound right, but "Democrat Party" is technically correct. What to do?