St. Joseph County GOP response to Democratic request to delay Vo - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

St. Joseph County GOP response to Democratic request to delay Vote Centers


The following is a statement from the Saint Joseph County Republican Party on the St. Joseph County Democratic Party's request to delay a decision on voting centers:

The St. Joseph County Republican Party is truly committed to reaching a bi-partisan solution to moving forward with the vote centers as we feel it is in the best interest of the voters and the tax payers of Saint Joseph County. The GOPSJC is committed to good, efficient government that brings our county into the 21st Century. Yesterday, in an abrupt reversal of their previously stated position, Democratic Chairman Jason Critchlow raised several concerns that must addressed. 
1.       There is "not enough time to educate and inform the public about vote centers."
According to Keith McGinnis of RBM Consulting LLC, the company the county has contracted with to provide vote machines and who has dealt with this issue in other counties (contact Keith about his plan), there is plenty of time to move ahead with this project.
Worst-case-scenario, if everything was not finalized until January, the County would still be able to spend the 30-day public comment period and the ensuing two months educating the public; this is more than enough time.  There is a reason the majority of political campaign media budgets are spent in the 60 days prior to voting.  Most voters will not be tuned in until March.  In 2012, polling location post cards were sent out six months before the November election – mass confusion ensued.  Had they gone out closer to Election Day when people were paying attention that confusion would not have existed. 
2.       The plan was supposed to be in place by September.
The Election Board set a September due date for the Vote Center Committee to ensure a timely completion of a proposal.  However, when the committee was still working on the proposal after September, the Election Board moved the due date to December, proving that the "deadline" was arbitrary and there is still time to proceed.
  1. E-pollbooks may not be certified in time
Lastly, the "problems" cited regarding e-book certification simply doesn't exist.  12 other Indiana counties have already filed a Vote Center plan to use in their 2014 election, with nine Counties currently using Vote Centers. The State failing to certify the e-pollbooks would simply not happen or 21 other counties would be unable to run an election next year. 
The problems that spurred this conversation – voter confusion, running out of ballots, and a lack of qualified poll workers during the last election - will be as pervasive in 2014 as they were in 2012.  St. Joseph County deserves better than this. 


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