Voting centers not on county’s agenda

January 14, 2014 • Local News

Voting Convenience Centers will not be used for county elections this ye[auth] ar, the County Commission and county clerk have determined.

The issue will not be considered at the commission meeting on Thursday.

“It’s not going to happen for the general election this year,” said Commissioner Robert Corn. “It may happen in 2016, but it won’t in 2014.”

County Clerk Dave Kunko had planned to ask the board to reconsider implementing Voting Convenience Centers this year by bringing back his plan Thursday. The plan was denied by commissioners in October.

Commissioners had asked Kunko for more analysis and further discussion at the time. Since then, Kunko has held public meetings and has recently met with a committee that included commissioners Corn and Greg Nibert.

In December, Kunko said he would ask the commission to reconsider implementing the new system in time for the state deadline. However, Kunko said Monday that the Secretary of State had already counted Chaves County out for the year.

“Part of it was, the Secretary of State made a comment that they had already budgeted for us to have traditional polling places, and that could be a problem with them if we changed it at this late a date,” Kunko said. “So then, we decided — the commissioners and I both decided — because of that, it would be better to just go with traditional. So we did.”

The City of Roswell and Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell will use the new system at elections this year.

On Feb. 4, ENMU-R will use the Voting Convenience Centers to ask county voters to decide on a proposed mill levy to pay for continued operations, maintenance and capital improvements on the campus. The election will ask voters of the district to establish a rate of $3 for each $1,000 of net taxable value of all taxable property.

Roswell residents will use the new centers for municipal elections March 4.

Both upcoming elections are not expected to have a high turnout of voters, Kunko said. But they will provide the county with information to assist Kunko with his future plans of implementing the system countywide.

“For the city, it will help us a lot in determining how it’s going to work,” Kunko said.

The county clerk’s office will provide all technical support to the university and the city.

“We’re going to help as much as we possible can with the VCC election,” Kunko said.

In other business Thursday, the county is expected to discuss increasing the East Grand Plains Fire Department budget by $50,000 for the purchase of a new fire truck.

Commissioners are also expected to be assigned committee appointments and receive an update on the Valley Meat Company’s Plant.

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