Elkhart County's new voting centers will get first tests

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 6. We've got answers to some of the questions you may have about the new system.

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 7:31 p.m.

The Tuesday, May 6 primary is the first election in Elkhart County to implement the new vote center plan. Here's what you need to know before you head off to one of the 25 centers in the county.

Q: When can I vote?
A: The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 6.

Q: Which vote center should I vote at? 
A: It's up to you. All Elkhart County voters can cast their ballots at any of the 25 locations. There are more than 600 unique ballots in this election, and they can all be produced electronically at any location.

Q: What do I need to bring to vote?
A: Voters must present a government-issued photo I.D. when they sign in at the voting center. The I.D. must display the voter's name and photo, an expiration date that is either current or expired after the last general election (Nov. 6, 2012) and be issued by the State of Indiana or the U.S. government.

Q: What if I need a ride to the polls?
A: The Elkhart County Democratic Party is offering free transportation to voters. To arrange transportation, voters can contact Dwight Fish at 574-536-9973 or Shari Mellin at 574-262-4213.

Q: What else will be different this election day?
A: As part of the new vote center plan, electronic poll books will replace paper poll books. Once a voter is checked in electronically, that information is updated at the other 24 vote centers. This prevents anyone from voting more than once. Electronic poll books are not connected to the 10 touch-screen voting machines that will be at each vote center.

Q: What if I don't have an I.D.?
A: All branches of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m on Tuesday, May 6. They provide free photo voter I.D. cards to Indiana residents without drivers licenses who provide proper documentation. A list of required identification documents is available on the BMV website.

Q: Do fewer locations mean longer lines?
A: Maybe. Wendy Hudson, county clerk, said in early April that some centers may have longer lines than others and it may take voters longer to cast their ballots on the touchscreen equipment. Ultimately, it won't be clear until after the primaries how vote centers will affect wait times and turnout.

Q: I have a question about Election Day. Who can I contact?
For help or information contact the Elkhart County Clerk's Office at 574-535-6469 or 574-534-5671.


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