County to roll out new voting booths

Bartholomew County Clerk Shari Lentz demonstrates the setup of a new voting booth that will be used during the upcoming municipal election.

Dave Stafford | The Republic

Voting booths in Bartholomew County will look a little different in the upcoming general election.

“We are receiving our new cases as of today,” Bartholomew County Clerk Shari Lentz informed the county election board Thursday. “We’re pretty excited about this.”

“We’re going to try to get those implemented so that we can use those for this election,” Lentz said of the upcoming municipal general election on Nov. 7. Early voting begins Oct. 10.

The new cases will hold the same devices the county has used in past, but Lentz said they should improve the experience for voters and poll workers. The new cases provide a larger flat surface and are more spacious than the small portable booths the county has been using.

“Before we had a case that held the panel and then we had the VV pad that sat in the back of the booth,” Lentz said, using the abbreviation for voter verification pad.

In the new setup, the voter’s ballot pad will be on the left side of the case and the voter verification pad will be on the same surface to the right. The new booths should be more accessible as well.

“This is all at a wonderful level that a wheelchair can slide way under and it’s all in one case, so they’re great big cases, but they’re on wheels.

“Voters will see everything — kind of on a flat surface — as opposed to the VV pad set up in the back of the booth … It’s going to be at a good height so folks can view the panel and the VV pad.”

Lentz said the new cases come at no expense to the county, calling them “a gift from the secretary of state’s office.

“We’re the first county to get those,” Lentz told the board. “We were the first county to have a VV pad for every voting panel, so they wanted to make sure we got ours first.

“I think the voters will like it,” she said.

The board also approved the legal notice to voters of polling places for the election, as published in The Republic on Sept. 13. Voting for elected offices in Columbus and Edinburgh will take place as follows:

Early voting

  • NexusPark, 2288 25th St., Columbus: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday from Oct. 16 to Nov. 6, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Nov. 4.
  • Bartholomew County Governmental Center, 440 Third St.: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Nov. 4

Election Day, Nov. 7, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Flintwood Wesleyan Church, 5300 25th St., Columbus.
  • St. John’s Masonic Lodge, 4131 Rocky Ford Road, Columbus.
  • NexusPark, 2288 25th St., Columbus.
  • Donner Center, 739 22nd St., Columbus.
  • River of Living Water, 51 N. Brooks St., Columbus.
  • Bartholomew County Governmental Center, 440 Third St., Columbus.
  • Terrace Lake Church, 4260 W. County Road 200S, Columbus.
  • Westside Community Church, 124 Tipton Lakes Blvd., Columbus.