State approves county’s vote center plan


Secretary of State Holli Sullivan has accepted Jackson County’s plan to become a vote center county.

“As Indiana prepares for the 2022 election season, voters will have more convenience in casting their ballots than ever before,” said Secretary of State Holli Sullivan in a news release issued Tuesday. “Vote centers allow people to go to any polling location in their county. I congratulate Jackson County Clerk Melissa Hayes and the Jackson County Election Board on developing and adopting a plan that makes voting easier and more secure for their community.”

Vote centers can reduce costs for counties, increase turnout, provide local election officials more flexibility and improve overall convenience for voters, Sullivan said.

Hayes said she was glad to see that all the hard work the election board — with the help of a bipartisan committee — had put into the process had paid off with state approval.

She said the final step in the seven-step process leading to the establishment of vote centers will be implementing the plan. That work will come from the staff in her office since the bipartisan committee has completed its part of the process.

“We will be working on the setup and layout of each vote center and the number of poll workers needed for each,” Hayes said.

The county has already purchased 30 new voting machines and they have been delivered.

Jackson County will have seven vote center locations across the county for voters to use on Election Day on May 3.

The plan calls for three vote centers in Seymour and one each in Brownstown, Crothersville, Freetown and Medora. In the past, voters in the county’s 30 precincts cast ballots at 20 polling sites spread throughout the county.

The three vote centers in Seymour will be at the Jackson County Learning Center, 323 Dupont Drive; Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108, 1752 First Ave. at Freeman Field; and Calvary Baptist Church, 1202 N. Ewing St.

The remaining four center sites will be at the enclosed shelter house at the Brownstown Park, 715 W. Bridge St., Brownstown; First Baptist Church, 305 E. Howard St., Crothersville; Freetown Community Center, 6789 N. Union Street, Freetown; and Medora Christian Church, 76 E. George St., Medora.

As part of the plan, early voting will be expanded from two sites in the past to three for the 2022 primary election. The Brownstown early voting site will be in the enclosed shelter house at the town park. Two sites will be open for early voting in Seymour — at the FOP lodge and the learning center.

Early voting will open 28 days prior to the May 3 primary election and be available Mondays through Fridays and on three Saturdays in the days leading up to the election. Hours for the Brownstown early voting site will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, while Seymour early voting centers will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

All early voting sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, and state law was changed this year to add a third Saturday during the early voting period.

Hayes said she thinks it will take a while for people to get used to vote centers.

“I really do think it will make it easier for voters,” she said.

In Indiana, 54 counties now can use the vote center model.

No posts to display