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Sioux Falls Tests Vote Centers

May 5, 2011, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Sioux Falls Tests Vote Centers
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Sioux Falls voters will elect a new school board member later this month, but you can forget going to your old precinct to cast your ballot.

The Sioux Falls school district is going to be testing a new voting system that replaces precincts with vote centers.

How you vote will stay the same, but where you vote will likely change for the May 24th Sioux Falls school board election.

That's because the district will test 10 new voting centers that you see located on this map.

Instead of designated precincts, voters will be able to cast their ballot at any voting center located throughout the city. 

"So if you happen to live on the west side, but work on the east you can vote at anyone of those places in the middle, you can only vote one time, but you're able to vote near your home or near where you work or where you go for lunch," South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant said.

Today, election officials trained on the new system, still working out some of the bugs. Because all the voting centers are linked together, you will only be able to vote once.

But they say by making the voting centers more convenient, hopefully more people will go to the polls. The last school board election in Sioux Falls only saw a three percent turnout.

Not only does the district think it's going to increase voter turnout, they also say it's going to save money.

Because they say fewer locations, means fewer workers. 

"When you look at how much it costs for each poll worker, we're able to cut that by 50 some percent, that's going to be a big savings just in man power," Gant said.

"We think that in the long run if we continue on with this with other bigger elections after the initial voter costs in price for newer equipment, the cost per election will go down substantially," Minnehaha County auditor Bob Litz said.

Sioux Falls is one of the first districts in the state to test the new system. 
SF School District Election Vote Centers.pdf

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