Monroe County election board member on voting logistics: “We don’t want to be forced to make lemonade out of lemons.”

Monroe County commissioners want the election board to consider an approach to early voting that would use more than one location for voters to cast their ballots ahead of election day.

County commissioners would also like the election board to pursue the option of establishing “vote centers” for voting on election day. Such an approach would allow voters to cast a ballot at any county vote center, not at one assigned polling site.

Those two elements made up part of the message delivered on Thursday to the election board by president of the county commissioners, Julie Thomas.

All three commissioners attended Thursday’s meeting of the election board, to continue an ongoing debate over the space allocation for the election division.

The other key part of the message from Thomas on Thursday was a determination that the second floor of the Election Central building would remain allocated to the county’s community corrections department (probation), and not be assigned to the elections division. Continue reading “Monroe County election board member on voting logistics: “We don’t want to be forced to make lemonade out of lemons.””

Election division physical space needs: County officials meet again this week, open house scheduled

On the Wednesday morning regular meeting agenda of the Monroe County commissioners is a resolution that will establish a committee to handle the review of voting precincts and districts in light of the 2020 US Census results.

As significant as that action is, it’s not the main election news for this week in Monroe County.

On Wednesday (Sept. 1), the county commissioners will hear from county clerk Nicole Browne for the fourth time in as many weeks on the topic of space needs for the election division. The elections division is currently housed on the first floor of the old Johnson Hardware building at Madison and 7th streets. The building is known as Election Central.

Browne has told commissioners that space requirements for year-round election work and early voting point to allocation of the whole building to elections. That includes the second floor, which is currently home to the county’s probation department.

At each of the Aug. 18 and Aug. 25 regular meetings of the commissioners, at least half dozen people, all with a fair amount of community clout, spoke in support of Browne’s request. Among them were two clerks from other Indiana counties. Continue reading “Election division physical space needs: County officials meet again this week, open house scheduled”

Week 1 of early voting in Monroe County in the books: 3,662 in-person ballots cast

At the end of the first week of early voting in Monroe County, Indiana, the tally of ballots cast in person stood at 3,662.

With Election Central open from 8 a.m to 6 p.m. starting Tuesday, that total, averaged over 40 hours, works out to a throughput of about 92 voters per hour.

By day the totals were: Tuesday (899), Wednesday (857), Thursday (933) and Friday (973). Based on the persistent lines, those numbers are probably an indicator of the maximum pace for processing voters.

At that same pace, the 208 hours of early voting that are scheduled before the Nov. 3 election would yield around 19,000 voted ballots.

The latest figure from the county clerk’s office for the number of absentee mail-in ballots that have been requested is around 13,000.

That projects to at least 32,000 people voting before Election Day this year. That total could go higher, because vote-by-mail absentee ballots can still be requested. Continue reading “Week 1 of early voting in Monroe County in the books: 3,662 in-person ballots cast”

Election update: Voting machine accuracy test passed; Poll workers still needed; Registration deadline Oct. 5

At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Monroe County’s election division started running its voting equipment through the logic and accuracy test that’s required under state statute.

After two hours of testing, the county’s equipment passed with a 100-percent score, deputy county clerk Tressia Martin told The Square Beacon.

The tests were conducted at the old Johnson Hardware Building, aka Election Central, at 7th and Madison streets. The blinds on the Madison Street side of the building were opened so that the public could watch, without going inside the building. It’s was a nod to helping prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic virus.

The completion of the accuracy test crosses one more task off the list that election staff have to complete for the Nov. 3, 2020 general election.

In early September, the board of elections had settled on 28 different polling locations for the county’s 82 precincts.  That decision was given approval by the county’s board of commissioners at its regular meeting Wednesday morning, shortly after the logic and accuracy test concluded. Continue reading “Election update: Voting machine accuracy test passed; Poll workers still needed; Registration deadline Oct. 5”