Election plans ongoing
Circuit clerk Monet Autry and the Marshall County election commissioners met with the board of supervisors recently to discuss readiness for the November election.
“We’re in the process of making sure the equipment is upgraded,” she said.
Autry has about $70,000 available to upgrade the voting machines and for training of election workers and a total fund of about $100,000. That includes $48,000 in monies under the Help America Vote Act.
There is a move underfoot to go back to paper ballots. If and when that happens, Autry said the ballots would be scanned by machine and the election would cost less.
A scanner will be loaned to the county as a backup and no equipment will have to be purchased for the election in November, if paper ballots are used, she said. Counting the votes on election night will take a lot longer.
Election commissioner Marie Palmer, who is not running for another term after 24 years, spoke to the board of supervisors about conditions at the precincts.
“We have serious issues safety of our voters because of social distancing,” she said.
There are 834 registered voters in the 2 North Cayce Precinct and she expects 700 voters to come out. She said they need clean restrooms. The population has more than doubled there.
At 2 Early Grove and 2 Hudsonville, there are no restrooms and Porta Potties are outdated, Palmer said.
“Especially with this virus, I wouldn’t feel safe in a porta potty,” Autry said.
She also aired concerns about use of public restrooms in the courthouse. The public can come in off the street and use the restrooms.
And 2 North Holly Springs, which has been voting at ICS Head Start, will now have to be moved because the ICS lease from Rust College is up.
“They can’t give permission to use Rust College property,” Autry said.
But the precinct could be moved to the Sims School property and voting could take place in the cafeteria, a space large enough to hold the election.
District 3 supervisor Keith Taylor said he does not want to use the new workforce center for a voting precinct.
Palmer said there is not enough parking space at the old voting precinct at North Cayce. “We need to find something quick,” said Palmer. “We have to send out notices. Y’all need to come up with something in a hurry. We’re running out of time fast.”
The Hudsonville precinct could be moved to Gray’s Chapel. The number of registered voters now on the polls in Hudsonville and Early Grove precincts has grown, too.
Palmer suggested combining Hudsonville and Early Grove precincts and putting them in a nice facility for election workers.
With the discussion concluded, the board of supervisors passed a motion to certify candidates.
Autry said Marshall County now has grown and has 24,000 registered voters.
She said she expects a large volume of absentee voters and that she is looking at what other counties are doing for new equipment.
The election commissioners were thanked for their service, much of which is pro bono, Taylor said. Access to property denied
When Monolito Anderson came to the boardroom of the county supervisors, he had lots of support. He wants to build a road to his property where one should have been built.
The area is South West Mt. Pleasant Farms, an old subdivision that was laid out in a perfect rectangle but the actual road deviates a little. Anderson wants the actual road extended to his property. “The old road ended before it got to his property line, but the road was dedicated to his property line,” said Larry Hall, county administrator.
Anderson is requesting the county let him build the road himself to connect to the subdivision road.
He said the road was open until a man said he couldn’t go through there.
“We used to drive through there all the time to get to Taska Road,” Anderson said.
Attorney Kent Smith said at first the board of supervisors thought the issue dealt with straightening the road.
“But this is an access issue,” he said. “He thinks, based on the plat, he does have access. You asked this board to grant you access.”
Anderson said he needs to know where the road actually is located.
Hall said lots of time a road on paper is not where the actual road is.
Smith said the road was dedicated for public use.
Anderson said the property is heir land but he wants to build himself a house. He has a piece of property that is not included in the estate, he said.
Smith wondered if the heirs wanted to build a subdivision.
“My intent is to get access to my property that I can build on and get to work on time,” Anderson said.