Mesa County Commisioners Approve Vote Centers

Grand Junction-Election officials hope more people will vote in person next year as the Mesa County Board of Commissioners approved the use of vote centers, Monday. For decades voters have gone to polling places to cast their votes. The unanimous decision by the three county commssiones will end that practice in favor of centers that allow people to vote at the most convenient location.

The change will end precinct–based polling places in Mesa County in favor of voting centers. That change will reduce the number of polling places in Mesa County from 82 to 22, but allow voters to cast ballots at any location.

Each vote center will be connected electronically to a database at the clerk and recorder's office in order to assure voters cannot vote at more than one place. Election officials hope making it more convenient to vote will cut the number of ballots tossed because of voting at the wrong precinct.

As well as boosting the number of people voting, but opponents say the $1.1 million dollars needed to replace current voting machines is not worth the cost.

Today's approval by the county commissioners does not give any funding at this time to buy new voting machines...
the new machines will tally votes electronically and will also print out each voter's choices...
vote centers were tried as a pilot program in larimer county in 2003...
voters reportedly responded well to the change...prompting several other colorado counties to make the change...
the vote centers will first be used in mesa county next year in the august primary elections.

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