Election Commission decides to meet quarterly in non-election years

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 7/14/19

With the next election not taking place until March 3, 2020, the Bradley County Election Commission has adopted a quarterly meeting schedule for non-election years.

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Election Commission decides to meet quarterly in non-election years

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With the next election not taking place until March 3, 2020, the Bradley County Election Commission has adopted a quarterly meeting schedule for non-election years.

In a recent meeting of the governing body, Election Commissioner Dana Burgner said there used to be a quarterly meeting requirement for years without an election and asked if it is still the law.

Election Commission Chairman Travis Henry said that is not a requirement, adding he has checked with other counties and found those election commissions meet “almost as needed,” especially during non-election years.

Fran Green, Bradley County’s administrator of elections, reviewed the policies previously approved by the Election Commission, with the most recent from:

• January 2017 — to change the monthly meetings to the first Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. Meetings were set for March, April, May, August, September and November.

• March 2017 — to change meetings back to the first Monday of the month at 2 p.m.

Green said in non-election years, like 2019, they can make changes to the meeting schedule to meet less often. She said the Election Commission met in March and April of this year, but didn’t set a meeting schedule.

Election Commissioner Duane Gilbert, who joined the meeting via phone call, made a motion to have a policy going forward for non-election years to have quarterly meetings.

“An election year, obviously, would be different,” Gilbert said.

“I think that sounds reasonable,” Election Commissioner Cristy Schuch said.

Burgner said he believes the motion should include that the chairman can call a meeting as needed.

“There might be something come up we need to meet for,” he said.

Commissioners approved the motion. Henry said the next Election Commission meeting is now scheduled for September.

In other discussion, Green shared a legislative refresher and update, with commissioners discussing Public Chapter 867, regarding school closures during elections.

The old law stated schools have the option to close if their building is being used as a polling location during an election. The new law states schools that are polling locations are required to close if their building is being used as a polling location, but only for the regular November general election. In addition:

• Schools may use this day as an in-service day for school personnel.

• Schools still have the option to close on other election days and use it as an in-service day for school personnel.

• Before adopting a calendar for the school year, the LEA (Local Education Association) and public charter school must consult with the county election commission regarding the elections conducted during that school year.

In other business, the Election Commission:

• Approved minutes from the April and May meetings.

• Inspected new voter registration applicants.

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