Hamilton County receives state grant to aid polling place setup


Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales presented a check for more than $90,000 to Hamilton County Clerk Kathy Kreag Williams and Election Administrator Beth Sheller on Jan. 9 during a brief ceremony at the Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center. The funds are part of $2 million in grants offered by the state to Indiana counties from Help America Vote Act funds and will be used to meet needs in polling place setup and ensuring vote integrity.

Approximately two-thirds of Indiana’s counties applied for and received funds to help meet needs related to voting and polling setup.

According to Williams, the grant money will be used specifically for cradle points, roller bags for precinct inspectors and storage of devices used to verify votes.

Cradle points will provide connectivity for poll pads at more remote polling locations, such as Deming in Jackson Township. Voting machines are not connected to the internet; however, poll pads allow for voter registration look-up and sign-in.

A roller bag for each precinct will allow inspectors to transfer equipment and supplies necessary for polling place setup, including poll pads and emergency ballots, more easily.

The remainder of the funds will go toward paying for storage site rental to hold devices that are attached to voting machines to verify for voters that their votes are recorded as intended. Hamilton County is looking for a more permanent option to solve this storage issue.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do,” Morales said to Sheller and Williams. “You are the backbone of our elections. We’re a team. I will not come into your county to tell you what to do. I ask you, what can I do to help you? This year is going to be a massive turnout in elections, and we need to be ready.”