Election Commission OKs budget proposal

By AUTUMN HUGHES

Posted 3/20/18

With budget requests due by Thursday to the County Mayor’s Office, the Bradley County Election Commission reviewed Administrator of Elections Fran Green’s preliminary budget proposal, giving approval to submit it for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

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Election Commission OKs budget proposal

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With budget requests due by Thursday to the County Mayor’s Office, the Bradley County Election Commission reviewed Administrator of Elections Fran Green’s preliminary budget proposal, giving approval to submit it for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Green said the budget request is “up significantly” over the current fiscal year because of the number of elections; there are three in 2018: May, August and November. Among the additional costs incurred because of the increased number of elections are:

• The Election Commission will meet more often.

• Election workers will be needed for more election days and early voting periods.

• Advertising costs will increase because of election notices, including sample ballots, that must be published.

• More office supplies will be needed to make copies of documents related to the elections.

In other business, the Election Commission:

• Approved the list of early voting workers for the May 1 election.

“I made this from what they said they could work,” Green said, adding her office staff is working on a list of Election Day workers, too.

• Approved the minutes of the Feb. 26 meeting.

• Heard from local resident Doug Pirkle about his idea to offer voter registration events for students at the local high schools. Pirkle said he had talked to Dr. Russell Dyer, director of Cleveland City Schools, who recommended Pirkle secure the cooperation of the high school’s principal and the Election Commission. Pirkle asked if the Election Commission agreed with his idea and if an election commissioner would come with him to meet the principal and ask permission to organize a voter registration event for students.

Pirkle said he has not yet talked with Bradley County Schools officials, but plans to.

Election Commissioner Cristy Schuch asked Pirkle if he’d like to head up this idea, and he said he would. Schuch then volunteered to visit the schools with Pirkle to show the Election Commission supports the idea.

“I’m always for expanding voter registration (opportunities),” Election Commission Chairman Travis Henry said.

Pirkle asked if the Election Commission could send a voting machine to the schools as a demonstration. Green said she does not have a demonstration machine but can send a sample ballot for students to see.

Green said a 17-year-old person can register to vote if they are going to be 18 on or before Election Day.

“I’m not singling out Cleveland High,” Pirkle said. “I want to go to all of (the local high schools) with this.”

• Reviewed a memorandum regarding a candidate’s petition that did not qualify for the May 1 election. The Election Commission requested the memorandum at its Feb. 26 meeting, specifically a summary of details which led to the determination of the candidate not qualifying.

“I think it’s good to just have it on file,” Henry said.

Green said she will include the memorandum in the meeting minutes.

The next scheduled meeting of the Bradley County Election Commission is 1 p.m. on Monday, April 2, at the Election Commission Office in the Bradley County Courthouse Annex.

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