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Myriad voting changes eroding trust in system

Allen County Election Board members should consider the hardship some Indianapolis voters face as they review a plan to overhaul the county's voting locations.

Last week, Indianapolis radio personality Amos Brown and Trent Deckard, the Democratic co-director of the Indiana Election Division, testified to the General Assembly's Census Data Advisory Committee that an unexplained reorganization of voting locations as well as numerous other election changes are causing voters, especially minorities, to doubt the integrity of the election system. They argued Indiana's complicated voting laws and the frequent changing of polling locations could disenfranchise voters.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican, was responsible for the redesign of voting precincts.

Brown described the changes as "willy-nilly." He pointed out that the precinct where he had voted for 20 years was a church within walking distance.

It was moved to a golf course without pedestrian access.

Deckard told the panel some poll workers who don't understand state registration requirements are also causing problems.

Committee members acknowledged that some counties don't notify voters when precincts are redrawn, which can cause voters confusion.

Allen County election officials are considering a plan to overhaul local voting locations. The proposal means more than half of county voters would be assigned a new voting location.

Fortunately, Allen County officials are also encouraging voters to give feedback on the plan (visit www.allencounty.us/voting-locations) through Sept. 28.

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