Precinct changes could come with benefits

Illinois Capitol News

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — State lawmakers are trying to make changes to voting before the 2019 election. They’ve introduced a bill to get rid of precincts and create voting centers.

Right now, area voters have specific locations where they go to vote. It’s on the voter registration card.

If a voting center bill became law, and if the county opted in, voters could pick one of about 20 centralized locations instead of going to assigned precincts.

There are currently about 100 precincts scattered around the county. Clerk Gordy Hulten says there are several benefits to switching to this type of system, including improving early voting.

The idea is a bipartisan approach to voting.

Former president Barack Obama created a commission on election administration after the 2012 election. The commission recommended voting centers. The state bill is still in draft form.

County leaders say it would also help with staffing on election day. Instead of having to have nearly 500 election judges, only a couple hundred would be needed to staff about 10 at each of the 20 – 25 centers.

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