The Vote Center Model was first used in Larimer County, Colorado, in 2003 for the county's Coordinated Election. Larimer County set up 22 Vote Centers throughout the county instead of their 143 precincts and spent a great deal of effort educating the public on the new model. To visit the Larimer County website about Vote Centers, click here:
Voters were able to receive and cast their correct ballot whether they voted near their home, workplace, or anywhere they found convenient. If voters moved recently within the county, they could cast their correct ballot close to their new home without having to drive across town to their old precinct polling place. A voter living in the south end of town no longer had to rush home after work to find his/her local polling place. There was no wrong place to vote! Voters benefited by this flexibility and lauded the new model.
In 2005, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita led a delegation of legislators and clerks to Larimer County to watch Vote Centers in a real election. All who attended were impressed with Vote Centers. In the 2006 legislative session, House Bill 1011 authorized the Secretary of State to select up to three counties to run a pilot Vote Center program in the 2007 Municipal and 2008 General Elections. Counties interested in participating in the program had to submit a detailed application.
After discussing the possibilities with the Tippecanoe County Election Board, the County Commissioners and the County Council, it was decided that Tippecanoe County would submit an application to be a Vote Center county. The application was submitted to Secretary of State Todd Rokita on August 1, 2006. The application can be read by clicking here.
On September 25, 2006, Secretary of State Rokita held a press conference in Lafayette to announce that Tippecanoe County had been selected as a Vote Center Pilot County. To read the press release that he issued, click here.
One of the components of Tippecanoe County's Vote Center plan was to ask the political parties to appoint members to the Vote Center Steering Committee. The Committee was charged with the task of selecting the Vote Center locations. The Committee met a number of times and developed the final list of the Vote Centers for the 2007 Municipal Elections. For a list of the Vote Center Steering Committee membership, click here.