MACo offered support for HB 436/SB 443 in the House Ways and Means and Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committees with an amendment to allow a county with fewer than 150,000 registered voters to establish up to three early voting centers with the county governing body’s consent. Under current law, counties with fewer than 150,000 registered voters are required to have one early voting center.
Due to the geographic size of some counties, there is a substantial argument to be made for multiple early voting sites. An individual is more inclined to vote if the voting location is nearby. However, there are financial concerns associated with the additional equipment and subsequent operational costs for the establishment of additional sites. With State aid having been reduced to local governments since FY 2007 and measurable declines in property assessments, county’s should be provided with flexibility in accommodating program needs.