Vote centers OK'd for 2016

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By Arin McKenna

The Los Alamos County Council approved vote center locations for the 2016 election cycle at its Oct. 9 meeting.
Vote centers will be located at the White Rock Library, council chambers in the municipal building and the golf course community building.
The White Rock Senior Center and Fire Station No. 3 were also considered as possible locations, but the senior center upgrades may not be completed before the June 7 primary election, and the fire station has issues such as a long walk for some voter, lack of a power-operated door and minimal community interaction.
County Clerk Sharon Stover also updated council on efforts to reduce the long waits that occurred during the 2014 elections.
“The goal is ‘voter convenience’ and our office takes seriously everything we can do to encourage voter participation and prevent any perception of voter suppression,” Stover said.
Stover’s office and clerks from other counties have been working with the voter machine vendor to reduce the amount of time it takes for the ballot to print and be cast. Utilizing council chambers instead of the board and committee room will allow for more voter stations.
Using the White Rock Library will temporarily displace 10−15 local groups that meet there, but council felt that having an easily accessible community hub as a voting location provided the greater benefit for the community at large.