By Rod Rose
Assistant Managing Editor
A hearing on whether Boone County should implement vote centers — locations where voters from many precincts may cast ballots — will be 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at the Lebanon Public Library, 104 E. Washington St., Lebanon.
The hearing is among the steps required by a new state law that allows counties to adopt vote centers. After the hearings, Boone County Clerk Penny Bogan will meet with the board of commissioners and the county council to get their input.
To adopt vote centers, however, requires a unanimous vote by the county election board — consisting of the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican parties, and the county clerk.
“We have a lot of different scenarios” to present at the hearings, Bogan said.
It costs less to conduct an election using vote centers — fewer poll workers are needed, for example — and pilot programs have shown voters are attracted to the convenience.
Staffing all precincts in a county-wide election requires 265 poll workers, Bogan said. With vote centers, that could be trimmed to 35 people. “We pay $12 apiece to workers for each meal; that in itself is a huge cost,” Bogan said. Where now it costs $3,180 for meals, vote centers could lower that cost to $420, she said.
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