Election Commission Addresses Security Concerns

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Security was one of the issues discussed Monday night during the regular monthly meeting of the Cannon County Election Commission.

While there are no issues related to the security of voting machines or ballots, there is one when it comes to access of the building on West Main Street which houses the Election Commission offices.

Because the building also houses offices for many other entities, such as Cannon County SAVE, the office for veteran's affairs and county probation services, there is constant traffic in and out of the build that is unrelated to election office business.

To address the problem, the Election Commission will have the doors that serve as the main entrance to the Election Office replaced, and also install a new wall and door in the hallway that leads to other offices in the building. The work will be performed by work crews from the Cannon County Jail under the supervision of the county maintenance department and the sheriff's department.

In other business Monday, the Election Commission discussed:

• The back salary owed to administrative assistance Dorinda Mankin. Chairman Lindburgh Dennis said he had discussed the matter with Mark Barker, who heads the Cannon County Commission's budget committee. Dennis said he expects the issue to be resolved in Mankin's favor at the April meeting of the commission.

• Commissioner Sue Patrick asked Administrator of Elections Stanley Dobson where he was registered to vote, stating she had received reports that his voter registration was not valid. Dobson said that he was registered to vote, in Wilson County, where he resides. Election administrators are not required to live in the county they serve.

• Dobson said he is working on next year's budget. The county commission would like to have budget requests turned in by all county departments by the end of this month, but Dobson said he doubted he would have it finished by then. The election commissioners asked him to have the proposed budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year ready by its next meeting, scheduled for April 5, so that they could review it before it was presented to the county commission for consideration during budget committee hearings.

Dobson said that the budget request for next year will include funding for new voting machines, which by law are required to be in place by the 2012 elections. He said he will seek half the amount for the upcoming budget year, and the rest the following year, so that the county is not committed to a large outlay at one time. While the federal government will eventually reimburse the county for the machines, there is an 18-month delay between purchase and reimbursement.

• Dobson also brought up the fact that the building in which the election office is housed has heating problems and issues with dirty, smelly water. Commissioner Patrick said she would contact the city Public Works Department to have it look into the water problems.


In other election news, Norma Knox picked up petition papers Monday to try to qualify for the County Trustee's race in the August 5 general election. She is the seventh person to pick up qualifying papers for that position.
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