An effort is underway in Tennessee to make voting more convenient.

Sullivan County Administrator of Elections Jason Booher said for the past several years the Tennessee Association of County Election Officials has been working with the state legislature to get a law passed to create convenient voting centers. 

Booher said the new concept would get rid of election day polling locations as they currently exist. “These voting centers will allow voters to cast a ballot at any one of the voting centers in the county and not be troubled with making it to their designated location.” Booher said it would mirror the way early voting works.

Rutherford County in middle Tennessee is the first county in the state to test the pilot program. During the recent primary election people were able to vote at one of about a dozen polling centers located throughout the county.

“We’re all behind Rutherford County. We want to see them succeeded and so far they have been successful,” Booher said. Before the project can be implemented across the state Booher said the General Assembly would have to vote on it.

If it were implemented, he said vote centers would be strategically placed throughout counties to ensure easy access for most people. Booher said that could mean cutting the number of polling locations in Sullivan County from 24 to 8-11 but choosing large locations like the civic auditorium. He said the move could save thousands of dollars. “If we can help reduce the cost of holding elections to free up some of that money for other purposes then that’s a win win for everybody.”