Big ballot anticipated for Aug. 5 election

Friday, March 19, 2010

With nearly 100 candidates' names to be presented on the Aug. 5 ballot, Marshall County's Election Commission is ready for more work this year.

Meanwhile, the commission has a new member and chairman as the previous chairman passed last year and another member was verified by the state. Still another member has indicated she will resign.

Funding for Election Commission supplies, training and travel was reduced during budget cutting last summer, county records show. The county did receive a $35,000 grant for the Election Commission which will spend it on 35 voting machines. The county has had 19.

"We will have enough machines to go to each precinct," Election Administrator Jo Ann Henry told the commission on Wednesday morning.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 16,899 Marshall County residents registered to vote, according to election office records. Total voter turnout was 7,172 for the 2006 county general election, the last contest with similar races on the ballot.

Voter rolls were purged in October of names of 863 people who haven't voted in recent elections. It's a routine culling of inactive voters.

Fred Fleischer, proprietor of Computer Tutor Plus on West Commerce Street, is the new member of the Commission. He joins the panel as Quenten Looney died Dec. 1.

Don Wright, a Lewisburg pharmacist, chaired Wednesday morning's meeting as soon as it began because commission rules have the oldest member preside if there's no chairman.

Election Commissioner Steve Allen noted that chairmen of county election commissions are to be of the same political party that is in the majority at the State Senate, so he nominated Wright who was elected unanimously.

"I will do everything possible to be fair to everybody," Wright said.

He then noted Henry has a "rough draft" of her annual budget that will eventually face review by county commissioners.

"This year we will have two elections," Henry commented.

They are Aug. 5 and Nov. 2. State and federal primaries are to be conducted with the Aug. 5 county general election in anticipation of the state and federal general elections on Nov. 2.

"We will have election workers to be paid," Henry said.

Without elections, there was no funding for election workers in the county budget that ends June 30. That countywide spending plan included $148,745 for the Election Commission and its officers and activities. Henry has indicated more will be needed for the budget starting July 1.