Knox County officials approve measure to expand voting access

Local News

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Changes to Knox County’s voting system will expand access for residents wanting to cast a ballot.

Knox County’s election board voted on Monday to allow Knox County residents the opportunity to vote at any of the voting locations across the area. Previously voters were only allowed to cast a ballot in their assigned precincts.

Angie Goff has worked as a poll worker for several years in Knox County. She said allowing county residents to vote in more than one place could encourage better voter turnout.

“From the very first one I worked, I thought we didn’t need that many voting centers in such a small county of Bicknell. So I’m very pro-voting election center,” Goff said.

Knox County Clerk, David Shelton, said offering flexibility to voters is one of his top priorities as county clerk.

“It’s really going to open up accessibility to a lot of people. People are confused and they don’t know where they have to vote,” Shelton explained.  “As long as they are registered to vote, they can vote at any of our 13 voting centers in Knox County. The number 1 question we have on election day is people calling or showing up to polls and they’re at the wrong poll.  So this will eliminate frustrations for a lot of people.”

In previous years, residents voted at one of 28 assigned precincts. By making the switch to a voting center, Knox County will also save $15,000 on poll worker salaries.

Shelton said getting the county to become a vote center county was a true bipartisan effort.

“We had some initial opposition but we had a true bipartisan project, effort, discussion. A civil discussion something we don’t see on a national level anymore. It felt good to work with people from both parties to work together to move Knox County into the future and the modern age with the vote center system,” he concluded.

The election board expects to receive e-polling books in the fall after voting to convert to electronic poll books instead of paper. Then they’ll begin training poll workers to get accustomed with the new system for the 2022 election.

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