Election Commission Seeks Budget Hike

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With primaries, elections and redistricting coming up during the next fiscal year, the Cannon County Election Commission is seeking a budget increase.

Stan Dobson, Cannon County Administrator of Elections, told the Election Commission at a meeting Tuesday night that costs associated with contracted services are expected to increase nearly $10,000 for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 over 2010-2011.

An additional amount of nearly $10,000 is being requested in order to perform renovations at the Election Commission Office in the Adams Memorial Building on West Main Street.

One of the proposed changes to the building involves the installation of an entrance between two rooms used for early voting. The State Election Office is requesting that renovation so election workers can observe all machines in use during early voting periods simultaneously.

Election Commissioners Sue Patrick, Louise Mayo, Matt Studd, Jackie Gannon and Lindberg Dennis voted unanimously Tuesday to submit a budget request of $185,972.80 to the Cannon County Commission for FY 2011-2012.

That amount represents an increase of slightly over $30,000 from the office’s current budget, $155,574. Dobson will present the approved budget request to the commission’s Budget Committee when it meets Thursday night at the Cannon County Courthouse.

The Commission has been looking into relocating to new facility if they determined that the Adams Memorial Building was no longer a suitable place for its headquarters. Dobson said the building, which also houses other county agencies including the ambulance service, Veteran’s Administration and the SAVE domestic violence assistance program, has been condemned twice by the state.

Commissioners said Tuesday they will approach County Executive Mike Gannon this week to see what can be done to improve the air conditioning system at the Election Office. During summer months the temperatures inside the building can reach the mid to high 80s.

Also Tuesday, Elections Commissioners voted unanimously to stay with the county’s current voting machines and not switch to optic scan machines. Each said the current machines are the best at assuring the integrity of the voting process.

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