Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, August 17, 2019

County Clerk's office should be prepared with enough ballots in November

Letter to the Editor

By The Madison County Record | Jul 12, 2016

To the Editor:

The March 15 primary inconvenienced many Republican voters, while still others didn’t get to vote.

As a Republican candidate, I felt disappointed the three precincts I ran strongest in all ran out of ballots.

Judges stated that Saline Precincts 2, 3 and 5 ran out of Republican ballots. Republican judges told me that at Saline 5 they were out of ballots all afternoon. At Saline 3 they were out of ballots in three hours and 15 minutes. At Saline 2 they were out of ballots a good part of the afternoon and had to stay open until 9 p.m.

One judge reported that no one answered at the county office when the judge called.

This is unacceptable and should never happen again.

Afterwards, Ms. Mendoza the County Clerk stated: “I wish I could have had a crystal ball to predict that 70,000 people would vote. I know people are upset.”

It won’t take a crystal ball to auger how many ballots are needed for this fall. As my dad used to say, use common sense. I propose some possible solutions.

- Print more ballots than usual. Interpolate the number of ballots needed for the fall based upon the high spring turnout.

- Err by printing more ballots versus not enough. Paying the cost for possible excess ballots is better than not having enough. Given the choice, your right to vote should prevail over cost.

- Maintain printing personnel at the county administration building. Ensure additional ballots are printed as needed.

- Employ designated "runners." Ensure there is personnel to take ballots immediately to sites.

- Ensure phone personnel. Keep open lines of communication to precincts.

- Place a red warning sheet in ballots. A red warning reminder sheet would alert judges to order more.

Philip W. Chapman


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