(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - Three more early-voting centers have opened for Marion County's referendum election next week.
About 700 people have voted over the last three weeks at the city-county building.
700 more turned out over the weekend for their first chance to vote at satellite locations at the Healthplex on west 10th street; the Devington Plaza Strip Mall at 46th and Arlington; and at the Beech Grove Community Center.
For five out of six voters, the only item on the ballot is the referendum on building a New Wishard Hospital.
But the Beech Grove and Franklin and Perry Township schools are seeking approval for construction projects.
Marion County Clerk Beth White says with the concentration of school referenda on the south side, about half the weekend voting traffic was at the beech grove polling place.
Passage of the school referenda would allow property-tax hikes in those districts beyond the state tax caps.
Wishard contends it can complete its $750 million project without a tax increase.
The county has successfully conducted the state-required test of its voting machines.
But the touch-screen machines will be available only on request, and the county's optical-scan machines won't be used at all.
Most voters will mark yes or no on an old-fashioned paper ballot and stuff it in a cardboard box.
Pollworkers will count them by hand after the polls close. T
here are only four questions on the ballot, and no precinct has more than two; officials say not having to test the optical scanners and haul them to the polling places will save more than $22-thousand dollars.
White says with other efficiencies taken in response to the simplicity of the election, the vote will cost $288-thousand dollars less than it otherwise would.
Wishard and the school systems are footing the $1.2 million bill for the election.
Wishard is paying most of that total, since most precincts will vote only on the hospital referendum.
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