- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
Phoenix tries out voting centers
Replaces traditional precinct polls, saves money
PHOENIX — Phoenix, the nation’s sixth largest city, aims to save money and add convenience by allowing its 650,000 registered voters to cast ballots for Tuesday’s city election at any of 26 voting centers.
The centers replace 128 assigned polling places. While most Phoenix voters cast early ballots, typically mailing them in, those who vote in person formerly had to vote in their precincts.
Arizona is among nine states that either permit jurisdictions to replace precincts with vote centers or authorize pilot projects in selected administrations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The centers don’t necessarily boost overall turnout but can save money for governmental jurisdictions, a 2010 study by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Indiana’s Ball State University found.
Phoenix, the first Arizona city to use voting centers, likely will save up to $350,000 on the previous $1 million cost of a city election, with reduced spending for hiring election workers, renting polling places and preprinting ballots, City Clerk Cris Meyer said.
With voters able to cast ballots at any center, there won’t be preprinted ballots for each voter. Instead, appropriate ballots will be printed once voters go to centers and election workers look them up on computerized registration lists, he said.
The new system allows people to vote at locations near their work, school, shopping or day care, Mayor Phil Gordon and other officials said Friday.
The centers will be open Saturday, Monday and Tuesday for voting in Tuesday’s election, which features a hotly contested mayoral race, four City Council contents and two ballot questions.
Arizona cities already had legal authority to use voting centers, and Phoenix began planning for their use several years ago. Earlier this year, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, the state’s top election official, pushed for legislative passage of a new state law authorizing counties to use the centers. The measure drew bipartisan, near-unanimous support among lawmakers.
Under the Arizona law, it isn’t mandatory for counties to switch, but Mr. Bennett said several are considering using the centers, at least partially. Because some rural counties have residents who live far from cities or big towns, officials may need to keep polling places for some individual precincts, he said.
Use of voting centers was pioneered by Colorado’s Larimer County in 2003, followed by an Indiana pilot project in 2006.
Mr. Bennett said the advent of voting centers isn’t a harbinger of the end of in-person voting. Arizona voters in 2006 overwhelmingly defeated a ballot question to have the state switch to all-mail voting, he said.
“I don’t think voting in-person will ever go away,” Mr. Bennett said. “There’s a certain percentage that likes coming into a poll.”
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014