Ball State SGA introduces vote center resolution

<p>James Wells introduces himself to senators at the Sept. 2 SGA meeting. Wells was voted into the at-large caucus two weeks before he introduced a resolution for Delaware County to adopt a vote center model for elections. <strong>Grace McCormick, Screenshot Capture.</strong></p>

James Wells introduces himself to senators at the Sept. 2 SGA meeting. Wells was voted into the at-large caucus two weeks before he introduced a resolution for Delaware County to adopt a vote center model for elections. Grace McCormick, Screenshot Capture.

In the Sept. 16 senate meeting, Ball State student government association (SGA) read a resolution to adopt a new voting model in Delaware County.

SGA Senator James Wells, who was recently inaugurated into the at-large caucus, authored the resolution calling for Delaware County to allow any registered voter in the county to vote at a vote center rather than be limited to their precinct-assigned polling place.

Wells said he worked as a vote center inspector in Marion County during last year’s municipal election, which inspired him to author this resolution. In 2011, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a bill allowing any Indiana county to transition from the traditional precinct model to a vote center model.

“When I came across this idea, I thought it would be great for Delaware County to adopt something like this,” Wells said. “Keeping the student body in mind … it would greatly benefit and make it more convenient to vote — not only for students, but for county residents as well.”

Wells said he is confident the resolution will pass SGA, and he hopes University Senate will eventually endorse the legislation. 

After the senate reading, Wells referred the resolution to the Governmental Affairs and Community Advancement (GACA) committee for further research before the resolution is voted on.

If the resolution passes at the next senate meeting, SGA president Conor Sanburn will deliver a copy to Delaware County officials. Wells hopes to see the vote center model implemented within a few years.

“If the Delaware County election board is open to the idea of implementing this in the county, they will likely have to test it out and get feedback from the community on how to best pursue that,” Wells said. “I do want to begin that push now, rather than later, for there to be a buildup of support for this idea in the community.”

According to Indiana’s election division web page, county officials are encouraged to form a study committee before transitioning to a vote center model to determine how electronic poll books would be managed to alert other county vote centers when someone votes.

Wells said the vote center model is a logical step for Delaware County to save money by not having to operate as many polling places as the precinct model.

Also in the senate meeting, four new senators — Madelyn Andrews, sophomore public relations major, Matthew Hustel, sophomore entrepreneurial management major, Mitchell Anderson, junior business analytics and finance double major and Samson Miller, sophomore biology and pre-medicine double major — were voted into the off-campus caucus. 

Noah Linvillle and Dimitri Napoleon were welcomed into the on-campus caucus. 

Finally, during committee reports, the Community and Environmental Affairs committee chair Tina Nguyen said she is organizing an environmental strike for Sept. 25.

Contact Grace McCormick with comments at grmccormick@bsu.edu or on Twitter @graceMc564.



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