Long lines dominate Vigo election talk

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The Indiana Primary Election is in the books and the Valley saw several close races, but still, the talk in Vigo County is the long lines at voting centers.

Voters crowded two voting centers in particular which led to some simply walking away and not voting.

Vigo County Clerk Dave Crockett said overall, the 2014 Primary Election and the first-time use of voting centers went well.  But Crockett admits he and the board certainly have things they can improve upon to make the voting process better for everyone.

“I hope people try to in the fall to take more advantage of the early voting part of it,” said Crockett.

The idea behind voting centers was to make it accommodating for you to vote early, as you could vote at any voting center at any time.  Many voters didn’t realize that, and they frequented the same place as many other voters, Baesler’s Market and Kroger North.  Crockett knew those places would be busy, but most of the traffic came on Election Day itself.

“The early voting at some of the grocery stores wasn’t as good as I had anticipated,” said Crockett.

This led to long lines at Baesler’s and Kroger North on Election Day and that frustrated voters to no end.  The board even turned to News 10 to help get the word out about other voting centers just to ease the traffic at the grocery stores.

“There are places that you probably drove past to get to another place to go vote, and the idea was to make every place a busy place, not just one or two,” said Crockett.

Crockett said the long lines even affected when his office could get election results to the public.  All voters in line at a polling place when it closes still cast ballots.  Voting continued 45 minutes past closing time at the grocery stores due to long lines.

The primary election unveiled several issues that need addressed.  The election board has just six months to solve those issues before November’s General Election.

Crockett said each voting center tabulates its vote on a thumb drive which must be physically brought to the courthouse.  He and the board plan to ask the county’s vendor if there’s a better solution so that results can be made public more quickly.

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