12/19/11 Polling sites and determining the number of poll workers that will be necessary for the 2012 elections continues to be the major concerns of the Marshall County Election Board. On December 16, the Board met to begin the process of writing their proposal on the matter. The final proposal will be submitted to the two county political party chairs and then presented to the Marshall County commissioners for final approval.
The Election Board consisting of Julie Fox, Marshall County Clerk; Steve Harper (R) and Roger Wise (D) are planning to combine polling sites in a number of the precincts.
Harper said, “The reduction of poll workers is our primary concern.” The board believes by combining the polling sites, that they could save as much as $12,600 or a 15 percent savings by reducing the workers by 63 people. Poll workers are paid approximately $100 per day plus a $20 meal allowance. In 2010, the cost of workers and meal allowances totaled approximately $38,000. It was noted that it has become more difficult to find the number of poll workers that have been used in the past.
The board believes the voting turnout for both the primary and general elections in 2012 will be large. Harper said, “I think this election is going to be a record.”
An additional consideration still in the planning stages includes the number of voting machines that would be needed at each polling site. The county owns 83 machines, but may still have to lease extras for the fall election.
Harper said, “The lines at each polling site may appear longer, but the voting will be faster.”
The Board needs to have all of the details in place by January 11 when political candidates can begin registering.
The next meeting of the Election Board will be December 21 at 8:30 A.M. in the Marshall County Clerk’s Office.
Carol Anders Correspondent