Centralizing the Vote: Why Isn’t It Happening?

As I made my way to the polls (a lovely golf course that had more people on the driving range at that early hour than doing their part for democracy) just after 7 a.m. today, I couldn’t help but wonder why vote centers haven’t been given more of a chance. Yes, a few Indiana counties were allowed to experiment in recent years and the results were positive, but legislative attempts to expand the concept have not gained traction.

Instead of numerous golf courses, schools, churches, fire stations and other polling places throughout a county, voting would take place at fewer but more centralized locations (think closer to work and play). More flexibility for the voters (I would not have made it back to the scenic golf course by 6 p.m. if I had not been able to make it there before work) and signficant financial benefits for counties (less machines, fewer poll workers and undoubtedly a reduction in problems that inevitably occur at far-flung precincts where the number of voters in 12 hours barely equals the age of one of the poll workers; OK, a cheap shot, but thank goodness for those willing to work the polls election after election after election).

Vote centers are one of those ideas that simply makes sense. Kind of like township reform. With both, you would do away with an antiquated system, save money (lots of money in many cases) and more effectively serve citizens.

Established political forces don’t want local government to change, no matter the cost to taxpayers. Is it the same with vote centers? If so, why? Help me, help all of us understand.

Luntz Will Speak; You Should Listen

When people talk, Frank Luntz listens. And then Luntz discusses what he heard and what he wishes had been spoken — and many powerful and influential people pay close attention.

Luntz is a top political pollster and communications professional. But he delivers his message in a very "common man and woman" sense. In fact, when I had a chance to interview him for our BizVoice magazine about 18 months ago, he was munching on a salad after contributing to the state’s economy by dropping a few dollars in one of our riverboats. He said he never could have imagined the opportunities he has had, but then quickly demonstrates why world political leaders and many more have called upon his services.

Luntz returns to Indiana on February 16. An Evening With Frank Luntz, a special dinner program, follows the Indiana Chamber’s annual Legislative Reception. Both are at the Westin in downtown Indianapolis. Luntz’s latest bestseller — What Americans Really Want … Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams and Fears — will be one of the topics, but expect much more. You won’t be disappointed. Order your tickets or tables today.