5 tapped for Monroe County vote center committee, six more needed

At its Thursday meeting, Monroe County’s three-member election board accepted five appointments that have been made to an 11-member vote center committee.

Vote centers are different from the kind of precinct-based polling locations currently used by Monroe County. At a precinct-based polling site, only voters from specified precincts can cast a ballot there.

Vote centers are polling places where a voter who is registered in any precinct can cast a ballot. For election administrators, it means some additional planning—to make sure that all the different ballots, which are tied to different precincts, are available for voters across the county.

The usual precinct-based polling locations will be used for the upcoming Nov. 7 municipal elections.

The vote center committee is supposed to produce a plan, as part of the requirements for eventually establishing vote centers.

Named to the vote center committee on Thursday were: Ilana Stonebraker; Hal Turner; Debora (Ralf) Shaw; Daniella Wheelock; and Stacy Kowalczyk. Continue reading “5 tapped for Monroe County vote center committee, six more needed”

Filling Monroe County election supervisor position called “good first step” by League of Women Voters

The upcoming Nov. 7 local elections include just one contested municipal race—for Bloomington city council District 3—plus a referendum question for Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC).

Monroe County election supervisor Ryan Herndon (Aug. 23, 2023)

So they’re not expected to present a big logistical challenge for the county’s election division.

Still, this year’s municipal elections will serve as a kind practice run for the 2024 presidential elections.

In a letter to area elected officials dated Tuesday, Aug. 22, the League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County sounded the alarm about staffing for the presidential election cycle.

Looking ahead to 2024, the letter states: “The League of Women Voters is concerned that Monroe County will not be prepared to conduct the primary and general elections with adequate and knowledgeable staff support.”

Two key staff departures this year are the source of the league’s concern. Chief deputy clerk Tressia Martin resigned at the end of July. County election supervisor Karen Wheeler left in early February.

When the league sent the letter, it was not widely known that a new election supervisor had been hired. Ryan Herndon, who has served up to now as a deputy in county clerk Nicole Browne’s office, has been on the job as election supervisor since Aug. 1.

Responding on Wednesday to an emailed B Square question about the league’s letter, Browne relayed the news of a new hire: “I am very proud to oversee elections in Monroe County and, in fact, we do have a new election supervisor in place.” Continue reading “Filling Monroe County election supervisor position called “good first step” by League of Women Voters”