Dear Editor: Do Madison County commissioners trust the county elections manager to do her job of protecting our sacred right and free access to vote?
A group of citizens, comprised of Republicans, Democrats, and independents gathered at the commission meeting Sept. 30 to back her budget request for this very purpose. The budget request included an increase of $30,000 to handle the increased costs of additional elections workers, care and placement of the much larger voting machines, training costs for the many new complications of the use of the new machines, and other needs associated with a very different elections process over the next year. But the commissioners, giving no other rationale than “We’ll give you what you got in previous elections,” decided not to grant the request. The response included the excuse that if you need more you can come back and beg for what is in reserve. The comment was “If you give people the money up front, then they are more likely to spend it.”
The lack of trust of a manager who has proven in the past that she conducts a fair, honest elections process was a disappointment to all of us. It makes me wonder what is the real reason why the commissioners decided not to honor her request? They have the money in reserve, so why not grant her request so she can do adequate planning for the next elections? Others will wonder as well. By their action (inaction), the commissioners have opened the door of suspicion about whether they support their board of elections and registration which is trying to assure all citizens the best opportunity to exercise their right to vote.