Vote Centers Could Be Wave Of The Future In Mesa County

Grand Junction-In order to meet the needs of both federal and state legislators, election officials in Mesa County are looking at options for cost-effective and realistically manageable processes. Since the present polling place elections mandate a voter vote at the polling place in which they live, election officials are looking towards vote centers as a possible solution.

The biggest difference is a vote center allows voters to vote in a vote center location of their choice on election day. Elections officcials say with the new concept their would be fewer locations, but election officials say the locations would be more accessible to residents and at more convenient locations since resident would be able to vote where they choose.

It would also allow the clerks to hire the most qualified election judges to perform duties within at the centers. The Voter Center Task Force has been studying the new method and members agree it would be very beneficial to the area.

It will be up to the Mesa County Commissioners to decide if vote centers will replace polling places in Mesa County, but some residents feel the change should be put on the ballot and voters should make the decision.

The only county in Colorado utilizing vote centers is Larimer,
and they have conducted three successful elections using the new concept.

The Vote Center Task Force will present their findings of a study, conducted on the new voting concept, to the commissioners in July. The earliest residents would see vote centers, if approved by the commissioners, would be for the 2006 primary elections.

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