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Brian Newby on Finding Homes for Early Voting

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vacant.storefront.jpg

[Image courtesy of Shooting Suburbia]

I'm talking to students today about early voting, and found this recent ElectionDiary by the prolific Brian Newby ... it's fascinating. Enjoy ...

This week, I received a call from someone who was interested in helping our office secure advance voting sites.

Maybe he can help. We'd like to go from four to six sites in 2014 but our ability to do that is dependent upon several things falling our way.

He asked about some of that.

The number one thing is that our office has to identify and negotiate property leases. We don't have an advance voting procurement division so this is a linear effort (we chase one lead down until it dries and go after another) on the part of an assistant election commissioner and me.

That empty storefront that's been vacant for three years? Don't even suggest to the leasing agent that it might be vacant a year from now, let alone July through November of 2014...

I equate this effort to that of a college basketball coach. We're always recruiting. In our case, we're always recruiting workers and locations.

If we have a chance to snag a blue chipper - even if we were after a center but get a strong shooting guard to commit - we'll pounce and recast our team and our needs going forward. If we want a site at 135th and State Line but we get the Great Mall in Olathe, we'll build a new plan around that.

Expectations for advance voting locations have escalated--voters want the sites close and they don't want to wait to vote. Hence, our desire to increase to six sites.

That last point is really important ... given the increasing interest in early/advance voting and the decreasing willingness of voters to wait in line, finding the right kind of home for voting is absolutely crucial.

As always, thanks to Brian for the peek behind the voting curtain!

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