Approval of Vote Center Plan – Commissioners

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WHEREAS, THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF STARKE COUNTY, INDIANA (the “Commissioners”) are informed that pursuant to Ind. Code Chapter 3-11-18.1, counties in Indiana may adopt and implement a vote center model (“Vote Centers”) for elections held in the county; and,

WHEREAS, on or about August 5, 2019 pursuant to Commissioners’ Resolution 2019lb_ the Commissioners recommended to the Election Board of Starke County (the “CEB”) that the CEB commence the process necessary for adoption and implementation of Vote Centers in

Starke County; and,

WHEREAS, the CEB has informed the Commissioners that it has carried out all preparatory steps necessary for adoption and implementation of Vote Centers in compliance with l.c. S 3-11-18.1-3 and all other relevant statutes, rules, regulations and practices, including the development of a Vote Center Plan, which is hereby filed of record with the Commissioners;

WHEREAS, at their public meeting on April 8th 2020 the CEB voted unanimously to adopt the Vote Center Plan and to implement Vote Centers as shown by the minutes of their meeting now filed of record with the Commissioners;

NOW THEREFORE, the Commissioners find that Vote Centers as described in the

Vote Center Plan will facilitate, streamline and modernize voting in Starke County and serve the

interests and provide convenience and flexible voting options for the voting public of Starke County.

The Commissioners hereby approve and adopt the Vote Center Plan and respectfully request that the CEB take all necessary steps for approval by the Indiana State Board of Elections to achieve full implementation of Vote Centers throughout Starke County by and before the November 3, 2020 general election.


OF STARKE COUNTY, and approved on this day of July 2020, by the following vote:

Board of Commissioners of Starke County, Indiana

Starke County Vote Center Plan

March 20, 2020


According to the 2010 Census, Starke County has a total population of 23,363 and is divided into 21 precincts. As of March 20, 2020 the number of registered voters in Starke County is 14,439 with 2,289 of those voters with a current status of “Inactive”, with O “Pending” and O “Incomplete” making the number of active voters at 12,150. The first election that will utilize Vote Centers will take place November 3, 2020. No voter should feel disenfranchised because of this change as the options for voting by absentee in person, absentee by mail, and absentee by travel board are still available and have dramatically expanded. Moving to Vote Centers will expand the voter’s options by not restricting them to a single polling location on Election Day.


Starke County will have seven (7) Vote Centers open on Election Day. Indiana statute requires one Vote Center for every 10,000 active voters, but the Starke County Election Board will provide one Vote Center for roughly every 1700 voters. Absentee voting will begin as required by Indiana statute, four (4) weeks prior to Election Day at the Starke County Clerk’s Office, located on the second floor of the Starke County Courthouse. In addition, w/o (2) satellite absentee voting locations will be open for two (2) weeks prior to Election Day. The two satellite absentee locations will be at the Koontz Lake Property Owners Building and North Judson Wayne Township Fire Department on the following week.

Absentee by mail applications will be accepted until 1 1 :59 p.m., 12 days before the Election. Absentee by Travel Board applications will be accepted until 12 noon, the day before the Election. Should a voter miss the deadline for these absentee voting options, they will still have the opportunity to vote in person at any one of the seven (7) Vote Centers on Election Day. The centers will be open on Election Day from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., as required by law. This will give every voter the opportunity to exercise their right to vote as all ballot styles and variations will be available on every voting machine at every Vote Center. It is the hope of the Starke County Election Board that voters will recognize the convenience and increased opportunities to cast their ballot and become accustomed to the concept of Vote Centers and will utilize the dramatically increased number of voting options to cast their ballot on or before Election Day.


Each Vote Center and satellite voting location will be connected to all other Vote

Centers and satellite voting locations, as well as the Starke County Clerk’s office in the Courthouse via electronic poll books connected via secure internet connection. At least two electronic poll books will be available at each location.

Each Vote Center will be staffed with a vote center board consisting of:

Supervisor (Inspector): Political party that received the highest number of votes cast in the most recent election for Secretary of State will fill this position.

Facilitators (Judge and Sheriff: Staffing be equal party representation from each major political party.

Poll Clerks: Staffing will be equal party representation from each major political party.

The number of precinct election board workers will be set by the amount of voters anticipated and the number of voting machines placed in that particular Vote Center.

Each satellite voting location will be staffed by an absentee board in the following manner:

The absentee board will consist of two (2) to four (4) election workers with equal party representation and one representative from the Clerk’s Office. There will be two voting machines and two ePollbooks at each location.

The Supervisor/Inspector will serve as the manager of the Vote Center. A Facilitator will serve as a greeter and verify that each voter has his/her government issued photo ID. Voters will proceed to a team of Poll Clerks who will access the individual’s registration information using the Electronic Pollbook (ePollbook) equipped with a scanner to read the voter’s ID card. The Poll Clerks will also have the ability to manually type in the voter’s name to access the correct Voter information. Once the voter’s address has been verified through the ePollbook, as required by state statute, a label will then be printed and given to the Judge. The Judge will receive the printed label from the Clerk and will proceed to the electronic voting equipment with the voter. The printed label will indicate which ballot the voter is to receive. The Judge will then activate the electronic voting equipment and select the appropriate precinct ballot in order to verify it with the voter. The voter will then proceed with voting on the electronic Voting equipment in the same manner as always. The Judge will keep the printed label in a envelope which will serve as hard copy documentation (the poll list) that the voter has voted in addition to the Electronic Pollbook information.


The dates, locations, and hours for Election Day voting will be posted in the local newspapers two (2) consecutive weeks prior to Election Day voting. Also, a mass mailing of new Voter Registration Acknowledgement cards will be sent out to all registered voters in Starke County to notify them of the Vote Centers locations open on Election Day. Additionally, all precinct polling locations not being utilized as Vote

Centers will have posted signs and maps indicating where Vote Centers are located.

The available Vote Center locations are as follows:

Open Election Day (6 a.m. —6 p.m.) — 7 locations for 12 hours

  • Koontz Lake Property Owners Building
  • Hamlet Fire James R Hardesty Community Building
  • Washington Township Community Building
  • Knox Nancy Dembowski Community Center  North Judson Wayne Township Fire Department
  • San Pierre Fire Department
  • Bass Lake California Township Fire Department Total Hours — 12 hours

Clerk’s Office Absentee In-person – 28 days prior to Election Day

  • Starke County Clerk’s Office
  • 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • 9:00 a.m. —4:00 p.m. Saturday October 24, and October 31, 2020
  • 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Monday November 4, 2020

(Day prior to Election Day)

Total Hours — 170 hours

Satellite Absentee Voting Offices

  • Koontz Lake Property Owners building
  • Thursday 12 (noon) to 6 p.m.
  • Friday 12 (noon) to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Total Hours — 16 hours

  • North Judson Wayne Township Fire Department
  • Thursday 12 (noon) to 6 p.m.
  • Friday 12 (noon) to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

e Total Hours— 16 hours

Grand total voting hours under Vote Centers — 214

Grand total voting hours under Precinct Polling — 151.5

Note: One satellite office will be open Thursday through Saturday, October 22, through October 24, 2020, while the other will be open Thursday through Saturday October 28th through October 31, 2020, depending on availability of the location, which will be determined in August 2020.


Voting Machine: Starke County will continue to use the MicroVote Infinity Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) for Absentee In-Person and Election Day voting. Each of the Infinity panels will be programmed and publicly tested by the Starke County Election Board and will include all precinct ballots. Sample paper ballots will also be provided to the Inspector of each Vote Center in a three-ring binder to allow voters to review their ballot prior to voting their ballot. Those voting by mail and Travel Board will continue to use Optical Scan Ballots which are completed and placed in secured sealed envelopes and are kept in locked ballot boxes until tabulation of results begins on Election Day. Properly secured Optical Scan Ballots and provisional ballots will be delivered to each Vote Center as part of the kit provided to the inspectors at each location.

ePollbooks: Starke County Election Board has chosen Knowink LLC as their ePollbooks vendor. Knowink LLC uses the Apple iPad With wireless PollPad, Model iPad 16gb WI-FI, for the hardware and With software 2.0 version. Included in the package is the charger, basic stand, Stylus, and Star Micronics Bluetooth receipt printer and receipt paper. The annual software license and maintenance will begin With the current year With Knowink. Knowink yearly maintenance is comparable to the other vendors without any additional fees for each election. Starke County IT Department will set up all ePollbooks prior to absentee in-person and Election Day voting to make sure the Starke County Clerk’s office is connected to each satellite and Vote Center location.


Voting equipment and the ePollbooks will be locked in the room that is being utilized at each Vote Center. A tamper resistant, numbered zip tie seal will be placed on the MicroVote Infinity voting equipment each night. The seal will be inspected and removed each morning by the Judges of opposite parties. All ePollbooks will only be accessible when a member of each party, enters their undisclosed password. The number of votes cast on the equipment and the number of voters checked in on the ePollbook will be checked and balanced each day prior to opening for the day.


In the event of a power failure at any or all Vote Centers, the voting equipment and ePollbooks will be switched to battery backup. For obvious reasons, if the safety of voters and/or poll-workers is ever at risk, the Starke County Security Plan will go into effect With instructions from the Starke County Clerk, Starke County Election Board, Starke County Emergency Management Agency, Starke County Sheriff, and the area Starke County Fire Departments.

The following narrative describes what would happen in case of an emergency during an election. The first responders to any emergency, either man-made or natural event, are local citizens. Poll-workers, volunteers, and police and fire personnel will be the first to identify the problem. The next level of response will come from the Starke County Commissioners and the Starke County Clerk’s office in cooperation with the local emergency management agency. If deemed necessary by the County Commissioners, the Office of the Secretary of State and the Indiana Elections Division will be contacted for emergency assistance and guidance. In addition, any action taken either by the Office of the Governor or the Office of the Secretary of State may be taken in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General to ensure that interpretations of the laws are correct.

Five general situations exist in which decision-making may occur regarding the election process and activities in Starke County:

  • Situation Normal: the status quo exists and the process moves forward according to normal laws and procedures
  • Isolated Emergencies: individual Centers or parts of the county experience disruption to the election process and local agencies respond accordingly
  • Regional Emergencies: an emergency involving Starke County and neighboring counties exists and a state-level response is required
  • Catastrophic Emergencies: Within Indiana, a large disaster exists that diverts the resources and attention of the citizenry and a state level response in cooperation with the federal government is required.
  • Catastrophic Emergencies: a large disaster exists in the United States that diverts the resources and attention to the citizens and federal-level response is required.

The Starke County Commissioners have worked closely with the local emergency management director, the county sheriff, and local police and fire departments to ensure that Starke County is prepared for emergencies. In addition, the Starke County Commissioners will be in close communication with the County Clerk’s Office by means of cell phone or land lines should any emergency occur surrounding the election process.

In this endeavor to be prepared for an emergency that could occur on or surrounding Election Day, Starke County takes the following steps prior to each Election Day:

  • Review IC 3-11-8-3.2 which outlines procedures for changing polling locations.
  • Review the state’s Quantity Purchasing Agreements (QPA) whereby Starke County may buy or lease emergency generators and other supplies.
  • Contact will be made with power companies to ensure all Vote Centers have power on Election Day.
  • Electric company will have support staff in the field or by phone in the event of a disruption.
  • In the event of a power failure at a Vote Center, the voting machine and ePollbooks will be switched automatically to battery backup.
  • In the event the internet is inaccessible at a Vote Center location, the eligibility of a voter will be ascertained from records maintained by the Starke County Voter Registration office via telephone/cell phone.


Starke County has 21 precincts: California 1, California 2, Center 1, Center 2, Center 3, Center 4, Center 5, Center 6, Davis, Jackson, North Bend, Oregon 1, Oregon 2, Oregon 3, Railroad, Washington I , Washington 2, Wayne 1, Wayne 2, Wayne 3, Wayne 4.

NOTE: Voters from any precinct may vote at any Vote Center location, the Clerk’s Office, or satellite voting location. Every ballot style for every precinct in Starke County will be available at every Vote Center and satellite voting location. Depending on the election, the number of ballot styles can vary greatly. Therefore, this plan does not attempt to provide a specific number of ballot styles. The ballots for every precinct will be coded into all voting equipment.


Starke County is a central count county and the election results will be tabulated in the Starke County Courthouse in the Election Room on Election Day. Absentee voting by mail and Travel Board will use the Optical Scan Ballots, followed by the DRE machines at the Vote Centers, absentee at the Clerk’s Office, and satellite locations. As Vote Centers close on Election Day and voting equipment arrives to the Courthouse, votes will be tabulated on a first come first serve basis. Election results will be tabulated by precinct and totals will be released to the public and news media in a timely manner.


  1. Resolution of the County Election Board adopting the Vote Center Plan
  2. Resolution of the County Commissioner
  3. Resolution of the County Council
  4. Current Precincts, Total Voters, Total Active Voters, Total Inactive Voters
  5. Overview of Voting Locations
  6. Poll Workers
  7. Certification of ADA Compliance
  8. Resolution adopting Starke County as a Central Count County


By: Marcia Bedrock, Republican Member Chair


Colleen Hodge, Democrat Member


Bernadette Manuel, Starke County Clerk, Election Board Secretary

PO BOX 395

53 East Washington

Knox, IN 46534

Telephone: 574-772-9128

Starke County Election Board Meeting

April 8th, 2020

The Starke County Election Board met April 8th, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. C.S.T. in the first floor conference room of the Starke County Courthouse.

Those in attendance were Marcia Bedrock CEB Chair, Colleen Hodge CEB member, Bernadette Manuel

CEB Secretary/Starke County Clerk, Shelby Mullins 1st Deputy and Jeffrey Houston Democrat Party Chair.

The meeting was called to order and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Bernadette Manuel made a motion to approve all outstanding minutes up to this point in time seconded by Colleen Hodge. 3-0.

Bernadette Manuel handed out packets to all attendees, the first item in the packet was the updated calendar from the Indiana Election Division regarding the new dates due the Primary being moved to June 2nd, 2020. Discussion ensued.

The next item was the absentee ballot application. Discussion ensued on the ways to get and accept an application from the public.

Discussion took place about how the absentee ballots are being sent out by the Clerk’s office.

Poll worker training was the next item in the packet and the training will be as follows:


Tuesday May 19th 5p.m. to 7 p.m.

Wednesday May 27th 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Wednesday May 20th 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday May 28th 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Thursday May 21st 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Tuesday May 26th 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Training will be at either the Courthouse or the Annex Building.

The next item in the packet was which precincts will be voting at the super precincts they are as follows:

California: California Township Fire Department

California 1, California 2, North Bend

Washington: Washington Township Fire Department

Washington 1 and Washington 2

Koontz Lake: Koontz Lake Property Owners Association Building

Oregon 2 and Oregon 3

Hamlet: James R Hardesty Community Center

Davis, Oregon 1, Center 6

Knox: Nancy Dembowski Community Center

Center 1, Center 2, Center 3, Center 4, Center 5, Jackson

North Judson: North Judson Wayne Township Fire Station

Wayne 1, Wayne 2, Wayne 3, Wayne 4

Railroad: San Pierre Fire Department


The next item in the packet was the number of poll workers needed for the primary they are as follows:

Inspectors/Supervisors: 7 Republicans

Clerks total of 18

9 Republicans

9 Democrats

Judges/Facilitators: Total of 24

12 Republicans

12 Democrats

The next item was the in person voting hours and they are as follows:

Tuesday May 5th — Friday May 8th

Monday May 11th — Friday May 15th

Monday May 18th Friday May 22nd

Saturday May 23rd

Tuesday May 26th —Friday May 29th

Saturday May 30th

Monday June 15t

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  1. a.m. to 4 p.m.
  2. a.m. to 4 p.m.
  3. a.m. to 4 p.m.
  4. a.m. to 4 p.m.

8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The next item was the public test and it must be published by May 2nd and the Deadline to hold the public test is May 4th

Bernadette Manuel stated that Microvote will not be programming the machines for the Primary and that the Election Board can program the machines potentially saving the county $2700.00. ‘t was decided to have the Election Board program with IT on standby.

The next item on the agenda was from the Indiana Election Division regarding the use of 16 and 17 year olds not only at the polling locations but in the office as ABS mail boards.

May 5th 2020 is the first day for in person absentee voting for the Primary Election. The ABS board will start back in the office on April 28th, 2020. The new hours for the ABS board will be 8 am to 12 pm. On Monday May 5th, 2020 the ABS hours will be 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday until May 29th, 2020.

Discussion took place about the Travel board and what kind of conditions they could be sent out in and how far they could go. It was also discussed the State of Indiana is recommending nurses be on the Travel board.

A discussion was held about a meeting with the Election Board and the two County Chairs and a tentative date of April 17th at 2 pm was set for the meeting.

The final item on the Agenda is the vote center plan. Bernadette Manuel asked to have the voter statistics to be run to reflect the current numbers for today’s date. Marcia Bedrock asked if the Election dates change for the fall election if we would have to amend the plan since it says November 3rd, 2020. Bernadette Manuel stated that yes it would have to be amended but she felt that the State would work with the counties based on the current pandemic. Marcia Bedrock went over the plan, the date was changed from the Primary Election to the General Election. Under satellite voting places North Judson Library was changed to North Judson Wayne Twp Fire Dept. Discussion ensued. Bernadette Manuel made a motion to go to vote centers and accept the vote center plan with the changes made, seconded by Colleen Hodge. 3-0. The vote center plan passed unanimously. [emphasis added for Vote Center Resolution purposes] Marcia Bedrock recessed the meeting.