SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a feasibility study on proposed voting centers.
The 4-1 vote, with Supervisor Jim Desmond opposed, came after discussion over how much voting centers would cost, security, and possible disenfranchisement and voter fraud.
Under the vote center system, the county's registered voters would receive a mail ballot and could then drop it off or mail it to a vote center or cast a new ballot at the vote center itself. The system would eliminate the need for provisional ballots.
The feasibility study will review pilot vote center locations for the 2020 election cycle, along with the costs and benefits; countywide deployment of the vote center model for the 2022 election cycle; an outreach and education campaign for 2020; and identify any state legislative changes that may be needed.
The county will also consider an independent audit of the voter rolls, as requested by Supervisor Kristin Gaspar.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher made the proposal to study whether vote centers are a good idea.
In a statement released after the board's vote, he said: "Our democracy is strongest when the most voters participate in our elections. I believe we should do everything possible to make it easier for people to access the ballot. Today, the Board of Supervisors took an important step by exploring the vote center model, making it easier for people to vote. I appreciate their support and look forward to working with county staff and the community in the months ahead."
Desmond said while the county should look for more ways to expand voting, he wasn't convinced that "we really need voting centers, when we have 1,600 polling stations."
Desmond also said that voter centers would be located in more densely populated areas, and possibly exclude those in more rural communities, such as farmers or ranchers.
The board will decide whether to move forward with the vote center proposal after the study is completed in 120 days.