Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Election Commission Reviewing Precincts

The Putnam County Election Commission has started the process of reviewing just how many voting precincts are necessary to conduct elections in the county with the intent of eventually reducing that number somewhat. Election administrator Debbie Steidl says that Putnam County currently has 44 locations for the county's 39,094 registered voters to cast their ballots on Election Day, but says many of them are quite near each other and others serve just a few voters, making them less than cost-effective. The election commission talked about the possibility of combining some precincts, but they made no final decisions. Steidl says the process involves finding locations that are still convenient while also striving to make them compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Under state law, the county is required to have at least one precinct per 5000 voters, but Steidl says Putnam County will probably end up with more than the minimum. Still, she says that consolidating voting locations could reduce the number of voting machines and the number of workers needed to run an election, ultimately saving money for taxpayers. The election commission will be discussing the issue further when they meet again in July, and they've said that they also want to take a first hand look at the condition of the current voting sites. If they go forward, anyone who would vote at a new precinct in 2010 would be notified ahead of time.