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Public can weigh in on vote centers

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GREENFIELD — Local officials have thought about implementing vote centers in Hancock County for over a year. Now, it’s the public’s turn to give input.

Vote centers would replace traditional neighborhood polling locations with fewer, larger sites to cast a ballot.

“I truly want the public’s opinion,” said Hancock County Clerk Marcia Moore, who has long suggested vote centers would streamline voting to today’s fast-paced society and ultimately save money.

Still, Moore said the public could sway her opinion.

“Precinct voting has been (here) ever since we began voting, and we can continue that if that’s what the public wants to do,” she said.

A group of about 10 people gathered with the Hancock County Election Board Thursday to give input on a plan that would establish 11 vote centers across the county starting with the 2014 election.

The group also began planning four public meetings in which local residents can hear more details, check out new polling equipment and weigh their opinions.

The vote centers, set for community buildings in almost every township from the Sugar Creek branch of the Hancock County Public Library to the Wilkinson Church of Christ, would be designed to accommodate larger volumes of voters.

Any registered voter could cast a ballot at any site, Moore added, which would cut down on the confusion over where residents must cast a ballot. It could also be more convenient for people who commute to Indianapolis, she said, because they could cast a ballot on their way to or from work on the west side of the county.

The plan would provide for

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