The Conference was some time ago, but I wanted to share my views on one of the breakout sessions I attended, titled “Can Voter Centers Work for You?” Scott Doyle, Clerk and Recorder for Larimer County, Colorado presented how well Vote Centers worked for his county in the last few elections. While the presentation was very informative and well presented, Mr. Doyle omitted a very important detail regarding implementation issues, namely that this system is not necessarily a ‘one size fits all’ solution for all jurisdictions or all elections. As a previous post indicated–and Mr. Doyle only vaguely alluded to–Vote Centers did not work well for Denver in the November 2006 election–the size of the electorate is just too big for this type of system to work as well as is it does in a smaller region such as Larimer County.
Since this conference appeared to me to be, among other things, a problem solving resource for election officials, I think it is a most critical detail to have shared with the very full room of folks who came from varying sizes of jurisdictions. He may have sold us on the positive aspects, but the shortcomings are just as important, if not more, and should have been discussed. It appears to me that further study of the system is in order.