Lake County officials will stay with the tradition of neighborhood polling places in the May 3 primary despite a new law promising savings and voter convenience. Fewer than half the municipal offices on the ballot are being contested by two or more candidates in 18 cities and towns.
Highland has no contested races and will ask to opt out of the spring primary, Highland Councilman Brian Novak said. The county and remaining municipalities will be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to unfurl a network of electronic voting machines and teams of poll workers in hundreds of precinct polling places.
Last month, the General Assembly and Gov. Mitch Daniels gave all Indiana counties the option to do away with the precinct polling place system, which is more than 150 years old, and replace it with a limited number of centralized vote centers where voting can take place for any contested race in the county.
The bipartisan county elections board announced last month there isn’t enough time before the spring primary to make the changeover, though the county will again open offices for early voting in Crown Point, East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, St. John and Winfield that offer the same unlimited access to any voter as the proposed vote centers. Lake County has 563 precincts.
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