The Dickson County Election Commission has decided to pass for now on a proposed pilot program that would do away with precinct-based voting on election day. A bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Sanderson of Kenton and Sen. Ken Yager of Harriman would allow counties to create “convenient voting centers” at which anyone could vote regardless of voting district. Administrator of Elections Linda Medley told the election commission Tuesday the goal of the bill is to reduce costs by cutting down on the number of polling places used on election days. Under the proposal, counties would have a minimum of one polling place per 10,000 registered voters, meaning Dickson County could have as few as three voting locations for a countywide election instead of the current 17 precincts. Medley said there would be some initial costs in purchasing electronic pollbooks that would provide voter rolls at each location, but would eventually reduce the cost of elections by $10,000-$25,000. Chairman Jack Garton pointed out three would be the minimum and the county could have as many above that as it wants, but more locations would reduce the potential savings. With 18,000 Dickson Countians voting in the November election, it would mean an average of 6,000 voters per location on election day, which Garton said would increase the importance of having well-trained poll workers. Medley said potential roadblocks include finding locations that could accommodate that much traffic on election day and her preliminary survey identified only five potential sites with four of them being schools. While the election commission has worked to not use any schools as polling places, Medley said another proposal being considered would require schools to close on election days so they could be used. And with five of Dickson County’s six municipalities changing their elections to coincide with state elections, it would mean every potential ballot would have to be available at each convenient voting center. But commission members said with all the changes to elections that have occurred in recent years from new dates to redistricting, it might be better to wait and see how the program works in other counties. “We owe these people an election with nothing changed,” Medley said. The five-member commission voted unanimously not to participate in the proposed pilot program at this time and to see if a better plan is created in the future.