State officials taking notice of Vanderburgh vote centers - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

State officials taking notice of Vanderburgh vote centers

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It's the third time around for voting centers in Vanderburgh County and state officials are taking notice. 

Vanderburgh is the largest of seven Hoosier counties who have gone to vote centers, and the only county in the US that has an app that shows all the vote centers.

If you have a smart phone and search "Vanderburgh County Elections," you can download that free app. It shows all 23 vote centers locations, and on Election Day, it will give you wait times at each of the polls.

Because of all of this, the state has its eyes on Vanderburgh County. 

Early voting is in full swing, and at one point Wednesday, the line was out the door at North Park Library, an hour and fifteen minute wait. 

Still, residents say they prefer vote centers over precincts. 

"It's really nice, a lot more convenient," said city voter, Boots Swallows. 

"It's easy to go ahead, come in, show your drivers license, get your little sheet, stand in line and vote," said county voter, Terry Geer. 

"We've been very fortunate, so far, it's worked out very well," County Clerk Susan Kirk said.

Vanderburgh County debuted its vote centers during the 2011 general election. There were a few initial problems including Internet reception issues, but since then the centers have been the ticket to cost savings.

"We went from more than 800 poll workers to about 185. We saved $85,000 per year by going to vote centers," Kirk said.

Now, the state wants to use Vanderburgh County as an example. Indiana's Secretary of State plans to be at Washington Square Mall on Election Day to see how the centers perform during a hot presidential and local election. 

"Vanderburgh County has that public question regarding the reorganization of local government units, so if any county has a large turnout it's going to be Vanderburgh County," Indiana Secretary of State, Connie Lawson said.

If Election Day is anything like early voting, it will be busy. As of Tuesday, 17,000 people had cast early ballots in Vanderburgh County vote centers. 

"In 2014, you will see a lot more counties in Indiana that are moving to vote centers, a lot," Kirk said.

"I think it's good to be a role model," said Carol Batteiger.

With the 23 vote centers, there's no wrong place for vote, you just need to bring a government issued ID.

Washington Square Mall and 4-H Center are expected to be the busiest locations this year. 

Early voting continues at vote centers through Saturday and on Monday at the election office. Early voting locations close sharply at 6 PM. On Election Day, you must be in line by 6 PM.

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