STATEHOUSE (Jan. 18, 2011) - Senate lawmakers by a 49-0 vote today approved a bill authored by State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) giving all Indiana counties the option to use vote centers.
Senate Bill 32 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
"Three pilot counties tested vote centers and achieved great successes," Charbonneau said. "By giving all 92 counties the option of using vote centers, they can decide if the program could be a cost savings for their communities and a way to increase voter turnout."
Charbonneau said SB 32 is the first bill in the 2011 session that the full Senate approved and sent to the House of Representatives.
Vote centers - tested during the 2008 election in Cass, Tippecanoe and Wayne counties - showed high rates of success because of their convenience and accessibility, Charbonneau said. The program expired in 2010 despite last year's Senate efforts to continue and expand the program.
According to the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, vote centers provide significant cost savings, because they allow election officials to staff fewer polling places and reduce the number of voting machines needed to conduct an election.
Sen. Ed Charbonneau