Rokita Announces Tippecanoe County as Vote Center Pilot

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz

Contact: Jen Fanger

Lafayette, IN - Today, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced the selection of Tippecanoe County as Indiana's first vote center concept pilot county. For voters, the advent of Vote Centers means flexibility in where they cast ballots during the 2007 Primary and General Elections. For taxpayers, Vote Centers mean reducing the cost of running the county's elections. Rokita championed the idea of vote centers before the Indiana General Assembly, which recently passed legislation authorizing the Secretary of State to select vote center pilot counties.

"The future of Indiana elections begins today, in Tippecanoe County," Rokita said. "The vote center concept means voters no longer have to worry about finding the right precinct, because any center in the county will work. The concept also means savings for taxpayers by significantly reducing the cost of election administration."

By utilizing technology, Tippecanoe County will be able to decrease the overall number of polling places and offer the option of voting at the location most convenient for the individual. Centers will be placed in high-traffic, accessible locations, with preference given to locations along public transit lines, such as libraries and public office buildings. Electronic poll books connected by a secure line to the county election board office will be updated in real-time and will enable election officials to ensure each person votes only once.

The change translates to taxpayer savings by reducing the number of voting systems needed to run an election, reducing the number of election workers needed to run an election, and eliminating the need for costly printing and storage of poll books.

The selection of Tippecanoe County follows an extensive application process, in which counties were asked to address questions of technical capability and impact to voters. The law requires selection of vote center pilot counties by October 1, 2006, and while Tippecanoe is not the only county to express interest in the pilot program, it is the first to submit a complete application deemed suitable by the Secretary of State's office.

"The Tippecanoe County plan is both solid and impressive," Rokita said. "The successful implementation of the vote centers concept will certainly be an important step toward improving elections for all Hoosiers."